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The Fiber Deficit, Part 3—Beyond Traditional Fiber Sources: The Role of Adding Fiber to Food in Improving Fiber Intakes

Hornick, Betsy MS, RD; Birkett, Anne PhD; Liska, DeAnn PhD

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e31829da149
1.5 CPEUs and 2.3 ANCC Contact Hours

There are several nutrients found to be inadequate in the American diet, but fiber deficit is one of worst. Nearly all Americans fall short in meeting daily fiber recommendations, on average missing target intakes by nearly one-half. This alarmingly low intake has important implications for public health, given the established role of fiber in health promotion and disease risk reduction. The fiber deficit persists despite efforts to promote greater intakes of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. However, these approaches also need to address energy balance and the problem of overconsumption of calories. As reported in parts 1 and 2 of this series, whole grains are positioned in dietary guidance as an important source of fiber, and consumers are choosing these foods with the expectation of getting a good source of fiber, yet the amount of fiber in whole-grain products can vary widely. This article will explore the role of fiber added to food as a complementary tactic to help improve intakes of total fiber without adding unnecessary calories.

Fortification and other additions of fi ber to foods can be helpful, but also it is tricky to do well.

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

Anne Birkett, PhD, is senior director of Global Nutrition Science and Pipeline Research at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Michigan.

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

This report was supported by an unrestricted education grant from The 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.

Part 1 of this series was published in November/December 2011 issue and Part 2 in May/June 2012 issue.

Correspondence: Betsy Hornick, MS, RD, 3016 Fairchild Street, Poplar Grove, IL 61065 (

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins