The development of diverticulosis is thought to be due to increased
intraluminal pressures in the colon and weakening of the bowel wall.
Western dietary factors, such as low fiber, high fat, and high refined
carbohydrates, seem to promote decreased GI transit times, which
may lead to high intraluminal colonic pressures and, thus, diverticula.5,6 Acquired
diverticular disease is also more common in those with sedentary
lifestyles7 and in obese patients. In one large
prospective cohort study of male health professionals, central obesity
significantly increased the rate of diverticulitis, complications
from diverticulitis, and diverticular bleeding.8 Diverticular
disease has also been linked to smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and
the ingestion of seeds and nuts, but none of these factors have
substantial evidence to support a causal relationship.