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Same Amount, but Not Enough, Fiber

Bread Loaf and Slices on a Rustic Board Americans are eating about the same amount of fiber as a decade ago, according to a new study, but it's only about half the amount recommended for overall good health and cancer protection. The study was published in the early online May issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

From 1999 to 2008, adults on average ate about 16 grams of fiber per day, shifting slightly higher or lower over the years. US guidelines recommend at least 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories. AICR's expert report and its continuous updates recommend 32 grams of fiber per day for cancer prevention. (A piece of whole wheat toast has about 3 grams of fiber.)

For the study, researchers pulled data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and grouped dietary fiber intake every two years, starting in 1999.

When looking at distinct populations, the study did see variation in fiber intake. Obese participants reported consuming less fiber than normal or overweight participants. Mexican Americans are eating slightly more fiber than white Americans. Blacks are eating approximately 13 grams of fiber a day, an increase of only half a gram from ten years earlier.

Sources: Dana E. King, Arch G. Mainous III, Carol A. Lambourne. "Trends in Dietary Fiber Intake in the United States, 1999-2008." Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Volume 112, Issue 5, Pages 589-776 (May 2012).

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