Children with celiac disease (CD) follow a lifelong gluten-free diet. This restrictive diet may be associated with nutritional compromise. Our objectives were therefore to evaluate the dietary composition (energy, macro- and micronutrients, and fiber) in children with CD compared to healthy controls (HC) and relationship between dietary composition and socioeconomic status.
This cross-sectional, case-control study recruited children with CD aged 2–18 years and HC matched for age, sex and socioeconomic status. Clinical, sociodemographic and dietary information were collected. A false discovery rate correction was applied to the p-value for multiple comparisons (q-value).
Sixty-five CD children were matched with 65 HC (mean (SD) age: 10.2 (3.6) vs. 10.1 (3.7) years, p = 0.96). Compared to HC, CD children had higher intakes of energy (2413.2 (489.9) vs. 2190.8 (593.5) kcal/day, p = 0.02), total fat (818.1 ± 180.9 vs. 714.3 ± 212.2 kcal/day, q = 0.018), and subtypes of fat (saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). There were no differences in other macronutrients, sugar, micronutrients or fiber between CD and HC, and no difference in dietary intake among CD between socioeconomic disadvantage vs. advantage. Children with CD had lower weight z-scores (-0.06 (1.05) vs. 0.47 (0.96), p = 0.003) and body mass index (BMI) z-scores (-0.02 (0.88) vs. 0.41 (1.09), p = 0.02) than HC.
Children with CD had higher calorie and fat intake compared to HC. Despite this, CD children had lower weight and BMI z-scores compared to HC.