Nutritional State and Feeding Behaviors of Children With Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
As both gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) are associated with malnutrition and feeding dysfunction, this study compares growth, nutrition, and feeding behaviors in children with GERD and EoE.Methods:
Subjects ages 1 to 7 years with GERD or EoE were enrolled in a prospective study. Assessments included length/height, weight, 3-day food diary, serum biomarkers of nutrition, and the Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale.Results:
Mean weight-for-length z scores in GERD and EoE children were −0.93 and −1.14 (p = NS) and mean body mass index z scores were 0.29 and −0.13 (P = NS). Vitamin D intake was below the daily recommended intake in GERD subjects. EoE subjects’ intake was below daily recommended intake of Vitamin D and calcium. GERD and EoE groups both had normal intake of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and iron, and normal serum ferritin (25 vs 34 ng/mL), prealbumin (21 vs 20 mg/dL), parathyroid hormone (42 vs 37 pg/mL), and Vitamin D (both 30 ng/mL). Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale problem and frequency scores were similar in GERD and EoE subjects but were higher than those of a historical cohort of healthy controls (Hedges’ g of 0.95 and 1.1, respectively). EoE subjects on food allergen restriction diets had significantly less feeding dysfunction than those on regular diets.Conclusions:
As a selected group of children with uncomplicated GERD or EoE were without nutritional deficiencies but had maladaptive feeding, providing anticipatory guidance to minimize mealtime challenges, monitoring for improvement, or referring to a feeding therapist, may be beneficial. A trial of food allergen restriction may provide additional benefit for those with EoE.