Published: 2016-12-24

Body mass index in celiac disease and effect of a gluten-free diet on body mass index

Laxman Siddh, Ghanshyam Singh Sengar, Niranjan Nagraj, Radhe Shyam, Pradeep Garg


Background: Various researchers have shown association of celiac disease with body mass index. We studied body mass index levels in patient with celiac disease and effect of gluten free diet on it. To compare body mass index levels in celiac disease patients with general population and to study effect of gluten free diet on BMI levels in them.

Methods: 50 children with biopsy confirmed celiac disease (either newly diagnosed or having poor dietary compliance for gluten free diet) and 50 healthy children were enrolled at our centre. Their initial and after 6 months of strict gluten free diet, BMIs were measured and compared with the previous levels.

Results: BMIs in patients with celiac disease was significantly lower (17.18) than the healthy children 21.20                 (p <0.001). Boys with celiac disease had (17.28) and girls with celiac disease had (17.10) lower body mass index when compared to their healthy peers. The difference between both sexes was insignificant. After 6 months of strict gluten free diet, celiac patients showed 19.30 (12.36%) increase in their BMI levels. Boys had 19.41 (12.32%) and girls had 19.23 (12.45%) increase in their BMIs. These levels were significantly higher than those measured at the start of therapy and comparable to their healthy peers.

Conclusions: Thestudy concluded that, low BMI is significantly associated with celiac disease. Gluten free diet significantly increases BMI levels. According to the study, largest improvement in BMI was more pronounced in patients who were underweight initially. Whereas overweight patients losses their weight after strict GFD. Low cholesterol levels were significantly associated with low BMI.


BMI, Bikaner, Celiac disease, Gluten free diet, Serum cholesterol

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