A survey was carried out to find the effects of dietary fiber consumption on chronic constipation. Since the objective was to introduce cost effective measures, so wheat floor was selected as an item for study and minimally processed whole-wheat flour was compared against refined wheat flour to promote health promotion programmes in dietetic practice. It was designed as comparative study, between the rural and urban population to find out the effects of migration, urbanization and industrialization on the dietary pattern specifically on the staple food.
Rural area selected was Toba Tek Singh and information from 50 sampled houses out of population of 600 houses, collected by a closed ended food frequency questionnaire. The respondents were inquired about the type of wheat floor consumption and the presence or absence of constipation. 1st house was selected randomly along the mosque and then every 12th house was included by systematic sampling. In the same manner 50 houses out of population of 600 houses were included from the two urban localities, The Bird Wood Road Lahore, a mixed population area and a poor locality Katcha Lawrence Road Lahore. With the designed questionnaire an overall picture of the present situation was sought out. It took 7 weeks, 02 weeks from rural and 05 weeks from urban area to collect data by researcher herself, by the help of an aya of Maternal and Child Center, Dispenser of Toba Tek Singh and medical officer of Rural Health Center. Only healthy adults male and females aged between18 to 49 were included in the study.
Out of 560 total respondents of both rural and urban males and females, 295 were rural and 265 urban healthy adults. Male: female ratio in rural area was 155:140 where as the ratio was 121:144 in urban locality. It was found that 100% population of rural area was whole wheat floor consumer and 100% protected from chronic constipation. The urban locality was a mix of all classes found to be 44% whole-wheat flour consumer while 56% were refined wheat flour consumers. Those consuming whole-wheat floor in urban area were 100% protected from chronic constipation, while those regularly using refined wheat floor were 86% chronically constipated.
The study concluded that whole-wheat floor protects from chronic constipation due to its high dietary fiber contents which is either deficient or absent in the refined wheat flour due to excess milling and processing. More over it is due to the change of dietary pattern in urban areas either due to availability of refined wheat flour in the market or the nature of jobs, where office workers and shop keeper have to buy the refined wheat flour bread at lunch time. Most of the people could purchase the whole-wheat flour from mills but they did not, due to lack of knowledge about its health promotion benefits.