Fiber continues to be singled out as a nutrient of public health concern. Adequate intakes of fiber are associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, certain gastrointestinal disorders and obesity. Despite ongoing efforts to promote adequate fiber through increased vegetable, fruit and whole-grain intakes, average fiber consumption has remained flat at approximately half of the recommended daily amounts. Research indicates that consumers report increasingly attempting to add fiber-containing foods, but there is confusion around fiber in whole grains. The persistent and alarmingly low intakes of fiber prompted the "Food & Fiber Summit," which assembled nutrition researchers, educators and communicators to explore fiber's role in public health, current fiber consumption trends and consumer awareness data with the objective of generating opportunities and solutions to help close the fiber gap. The summit outcomes highlight the need to address consumer confusion and improve the understanding of sources of fiber, to recognize the benefits of various types of fibers and to influence future dietary guidance to provide prominence and clarity around meeting daily fiber recommendations through a variety of foods and fiber types. Potential opportunities to increase fiber intake were identified, with emphasis on meal occasions and food categories that offer practical solutions for closing the fiber gap.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Nutrient of public health concern
- Whole grains