Malnutrition and functional constipation (FC) are two of the most prevalent illnesses in children worldwide with long-term effects. For a study, researchers sought to examine the connection between the 2 entities.

They used the terms “constipation,” “growth,” and “children” to search PubMed, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Cochrane, and (from the beginning through December 11, 2021). The risk of bias assessment technique employed was the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The random-effects model was used for meta-analysis.

In the analysis, 18 trials involving 33,410 kids were considered. A meta-analysis of all the studies revealed a statistically significant association between FC and undernutrition in Asian countries using the ROME criteria (OR = 2.38; 95% CI = 1.43-3.97; P< 0.001) and overweight/obesity in Asian countries (OR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.11-2.76; P = 0.02). Asian non-FC patients also had a higher prevalence of normal-weight patients (OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.38-0.76; P< 0.001). It was still being determined if FC and low stature are related.

FC and the frequency of both overweight/obesity and undernutrition were correlated. Future research should assess the causal relationship and determine whether FC treatment is beneficial.