French fries, cheese, cookies, and sports drinks are some of the foods commonly found in the diets of US adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a new study by researchers at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

The researchers analyzed the National Health Interview Survey 2015 to determine the food intake and frequency of consumption for US adults with IBD. The survey assessed 26 foods, with a main focus on junk food.

The study found that fries were consumed by a greater number of people with IBD. In addition, the participants ate more cheese and cookies and drank less than 100% fruit juice than people who did not have IBD, according to the study authors.

Consuming fries and sports/energy drinks, along with frequent soda drinking, was significantly associated with having a diagnosis of IBD. Further, consuming milk or popcorn was less likely to be associated with IBD.

“While foods typically labeled as junk food were positively associated with inflammatory bowel disease, we found the eating patterns of people with and without this disease to be very similar,” said study author Moon Han, MD, in a press release. “However, it’s unclear whether the survey results reflect a potential change in the food intake of people with inflammatory bowel disease long before the survey was conducted.”

The study authors concluded that future studies should explore environmental factors, food processing, and potential bioactive food components that can induce and increase susceptibility to IBD.

Biomedical sciences researchers find certain foods common in diets of US adults with inflammatory bowel disease. Georgia State University. Published May 6, 2020. Accessed May 8, 2020.