Consumers Confused About Fiber Sources, Kellogg’s Survey Says

March 29, 2011

Nearly 20% of Americans incorrectly believe that meats, seafood, and dairy foods are a good source of fiber.

Nearly 20% of Americans incorrectly believe that meats, seafood, and dairy foods are a good source of fiber. Moreover, nearly one in 10 believes water naturally provides fiber. These findings were unveiled by a recent consumer survey commissioned by Kellogg Co.

In its research, Kellogg says it also found that 72% of Americans expect whole-grain foods to be a good source of fiber, which it says is not always the case.

The company says this confusion may be one reason why a majority of Americans are failing to get enough fiber in their diets. In part, it says, those consumers may be looking to the wrong foods to meet their fiber needs.

“Our research indicates a need for further consumer education about where to find dietary fiber, and it is underscored by the Dietary Guidelines naming fiber a nutrient of concern,” said Lisa Sutherland, vice president of Kellogg North America Nutrition. “The fact is the vast majority of Americans are failing to get even half of the needed 25 g of fiber each day.”

The company is reminding consumers that fiber can be found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes; however, when it comes to whole grains, fiber content can vary significantly. It says the key is for people to use nutrition labels to compare whole-grain products to find choices higher in dietary fiber, and says that foods with 3 g of fiber are considered a good source, while 5 g is considered an excellent source, according to FDA.

Other data revealed by the survey:

·      Americans think they get enough fiber, but most fall short: Four out of five Americans surveyed said they make a conscious effort to include fiber in their diets and that 80% believe they get enough. Yet, the reality is that less than one in 10 actually get the recommended daily intake of 25 g of fiber.

·      Looking for fiber in the wrong places: Among those surveyed, 20% mistakenly believed that meats and seafood provide dietary fiber, and 17% say dairy products are fiber sources. One in 10 even thought fiber is in water.

·      Fiber is not just for regularity: Fifteen percent of the Americans surveyed falsely believe that they only need to eat fiber when they are experiencing irregularity, despite evidence pointing to the fact that diets high in fiber address health issues besides digestive health, such as weight management, diabetes, heart health, and certain cancers.