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May 8 2007 12:00 AM

Does meat contain fiber?  How many people pay attention to food labels, and are they looking at fiber?  Do Americans know how much fiber they need in a day?  The National Fiber Councils (NFC) 2007 Consumer Survey uncovered answers to these questions and more to determine what Americans really know about fiber and why theyre not getting enough. The results may surprise you.


Americans know fiber is important to maintain good health but they arent sure where to find it, said Jim Anderson, M.D., chair of the National Fiber Council.  The results of this survey prove that, despite gains made in recent years, we still have a lot of ground to cover if we want to make fiber a priority for Americans.


And The Survey Says

Commissioned by the NFC, the nations leading group of fiber experts, the Omnibus survey was conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation. The survey includes a random sampling of 1,000 respondents who were polled via phone using Random Digital Dial (RDD).  A cross section of the survey results are listed below:


§         Do people really know how much fiber they need?

While 65 percent of those surveyed try to eat foods that are high in fiber, more than two thirds of respondents (88 percent) did not know the number of grams of fiber recommended per day for a healthy body.  The NFC recommends 32 grams of fiber per day for a healthy body.


§         Is there fiber in meat?

62 percent of respondents believe that meat is a source of fiber.  Note: There is no fiber in meat.  Fiber can only be derived from plant products.


§         When are Americans getting their fiber?

42 percent of respondents cited breakfast as the meal in which they consume the most fiber followed closely by dinner (32 percent).  Lunch was a distant third, receiving 18 percent of the vote. 


§         Do Americans read food labels?

72 percent of those surveyed read food labels.  However, of those surveyed, less than half (48 percent) look at the amount of fiber per serving.  Not surprisingly, the majority of Americans (61 percent) are most interested in the amount of saturated fat per serving.


§         How do Americans stay healthy if they dont exercise?

85 percent of respondents believe they are in good health. However, its interesting to note that only slightly more than half reported that they regularly exercise (58 percent). Respondents attributed their good health to reading food labels (72 percent), avoiding foods high in fat (68 percent), eating foods high in fiber (65 percent) and taking vitamins and/or supplements (63 percent), to name a few.


The Health Benefits of Fiber

In addition to promoting general wellness and intestinal health, the survey revealed that a majority of Americans are increasingly aware of the additional health benefits of fiber:


  • 78 percent recognize that fiber keeps you full
  • 76 percent associate fiber with helping to lower cholesterol
  • 72 percent believe that fiber helps with weight management
  • 67 percent are aware that fiber can help with diabetes prevention

Experts have been trying to educate consumers for years about the health benefits of fiber, added Anderson.  Despite this, weve seen a rise in health conditions that put your life in danger high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and certain cancers the risk of which can be greatly reduced by getting the NFCs recommended 32 grams of fiber per day.


A Fresh Look At Fiber Brochure

Those interested in learning more about fiber and how to get their recommended 32 grams of fiber per day can visit the NFCs Web site or call the toll-free hotline 866.749.5296 to request the NFCs new A Fresh Look at Fiber brochure.  The brochure includes general information about fiber, fiber myths and facts, a sample high-fiber menu plan, the NFCs recommended Top Five Items to Keep in Your Pantry and a fiber supplement comparison chart.


National Fiber Council

The National Fiber Council (NFC) is a primary resource for credible information about the benefits of dietary fiber for consumers, media and health care professionals.  Founded in 2004, the NFC was established to raise awareness and educate Americans about the benefits of dietary fiber. The NFC is comprised of six active Board members, each a national thought leader in his or her area of study.  Board specialties include, weight management, digestive disease, pharmacy, nutrition and fitness.  The NFCs first Consumer Survey was commissioned in 2005.






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