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The Fiber Deficit, Part I: Whole Grain Contributions to Health and Fiber Intakes

Hornick, Betsy MS, RD; Liska, DeAnn PhD; Dolven, Cheryl MS, RD; Wrick, Kathie L. PhD, RD

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e318239635f
Nutrient Spotlight on Fiber

A proposed approach to help address the fiber shortfall in the diets of Americans has been to increase intake of whole grains. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended for the first time that all age groups consume at least half their grain servings as whole grains as 1 way to help achieve fiber recommendations. Yet the amount of fiber in products promoting their whole-grain content can vary substantially. Differences in the nutrient composition of whole-grain sources, variations in the amount of whole grain used in prepared products, and limitations in current whole-grain label statements all contribute to broad disparities in the fiber content. Current MyPlate meal patterns recommend whole-grain consumption at a level providing about one-quarter to one-third of daily fiber needs. To help close the fiber gap, we must educate consumers on how to find whole-grain foods that provide at least a good source of fiber as well as encourage the intake of any grain food that provides fiber. This is particularly important given the role of fiber in whole-grain health benefits.

Looking at fiber and other nutritious goodies in whole grains

Betsy Hornick, MS, RD, is a nutrition writer and consultant specializing in food, nutrition, and health communications.

DeAnn Liska, PhD, is US director, Nutrition Science, at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Cheryl Dolven, MS, RD, is director of Health and Wellness at Darden Restaurants in Orlando, Florida. She was formerly US director, Nutrition Marketing, at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Kathie L. Wrick, PhD, RD, is president of Wrick & Associates in West Newton, Massachusetts, specializing in nutritional science and scientific affairs. She is also a consultant for Nutrition Impact, LLC, a food and nutrition consulting firm that helps clients address science-related issues and works with a range of food, nutrition, and wellness organizations, including the Kellogg Company.

This report was supported by an unrestricted education grant from Kellogg Company.

Ms Hornick has declared that she is a member of FoodMinds’ expert network. FoodMinds is a food and nutrition affairs company that represents a range of food, nutrition, and wellness organizations, including the Kellogg Company.

Correspondence: Betsy Hornick, MS, RD, 3016 Fairchild St, Poplar Grove, IL 61065 (bhornickrd@aol.com).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.