Americans may be looking to the wrong foods to boost their fiber intake

Posted: 24 February 2011 | The Kellogg Company | No comments yet

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines identifies fiber as one of four nutrients of concern, noting most Americans fail to get enough in their daily diet…

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines identifies fiber as one of four nutrients of concern, noting most Americans fail to get enough in their daily diet...

The recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines identifies fiber as one of four nutrients of concern, noting most Americans fail to get enough in their daily diet. Confusion about which foods contain the important nutrient may be one reason many consumers look to the wrong foods to meet their fiber needs.

Nearly 20 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that meats, seafood and dairy foods are a good source of fiber and nearly one in 10 even thinks water provides the nutrient, according to a recent consumer survey commissioned by Kellogg Company.(1)

In other research, Kellogg found that 72 percent of Americans expect whole-grain foods to also be a good source of fiber, when that is not always the case.(2)

“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 grams of fiber each day.”

Fiber can be found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes. However, when it comes to whole grains, the fiber content varies significantly. The key, according to Dietary Guidelines recommendations, is for people to use the nutrition label to compare whole-grain products to find choices higher in dietary fiber. In general, foods with 3 grams of fiber are considered a good source and foods with 5 grams of fiber are an excellent source, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

To help people meet their fiber needs, Kellogg offers more ready-to-eat cereals that provide at least a good source of fiber and 8 grams of whole grains than any other U.S. food company.(3)

“Kellogg aims to be part of the solution to help Americans increase their intake of fiber and whole grains,” said Sutherland. “We are committed to helping close the fiber gap by making it easy for consumers to choose delicious foods that can help them get both fiber and whole grain, such as Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats®, Apple Jacks® and Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ cereals, to name just a few.”

Survey Finds Gap in Consumer Fiber Knowledge

Aiming to better understand Americans’ knowledge of fiber, Kellogg commissioned a consumer survey of 1,006 adults, conducted in November 2010 by Caravan® Survey. The results uncovered some surprising information gaps. Some key findings include:

  • Americans Think They Get Enough Fiber, But Most Fall Far Short – Four out of five Americans surveyed say they make a conscious effort to include fiber in their diet and 80 percent believe they get enough. Yet, the reality is that less than one in 10 actually get the recommended daily intake of 25 grams of fiber.
  • Looking For Fiber In All The Wrong Places – Among those surveyed, 20 percent mistakenly believe that meats and seafood provide dietary fiber and 17 percent say dairy products are fiber sources. One in 10 even thinks fiber is in water.
  • Fiber Is Not Just For Regularity – Fifteen percent of Americans falsely believe that they only need to eat fiber when they are experiencing irregularity, despite strong, consistent evidence that diets high in fiber contribute to overall health and help address health issues, including digestive health, weight management, diabetes, heart health and certain cancers.

For more information on the benefits of fiber and Kellogg Company’s efforts to increase fiber in foods that consumers are already eating and enjoying, please visit


  1. Kellogg telephone survey of 1,006 American adults conducted by Caravan® Survey in November 2010.
  2. Kellogg Company’s Whole Grains & Fiber Omnibus Survey, 2009.
  3. Based on a Kellogg audit of national breakfast cereals in September 2010. The data was drawn from label, website and a syndicated database and includes nationally distributed ready-to-eat cereals from Kellogg’s®, General Mills®, Post®, Quaker® and Malt-O-Meal®.

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