Study Suggests That Understanding of Dietary Fiber is Low Among Consumers Globally

For your information, “Knowledge about dietary fibre: a fibre study framework” by Guiné, et al., was published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. The articles describes findings from a survey that 6,000 individuals from 10 countries (Argentina, Croatia, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Portugal, Romania and Turkey) completed regarding their knowledge of dietary fiber (DF). Participants provided sociodemographic characteristics and answered questions about dietary fiber using a 5-point Likert agreement-scale. Participants in this study were both male and female (female, 65.7%; male 34.3%) with an average age of 34.5 ± 13.7 years. Fifty-five percent of the participants had a university-level education, 42% had completed secondary school and 3% had the lowest level of education (primary school). Additionally, most participants lived in an urban area (79.7%) while 19.6% lived in rural settings. The researchers asked participants if ‘‘Only plant foods have fibre’’ and ‘‘Foods of animal origin . . . do not contain fibre’’ and report that the responses indicate that most people are unfamiliar with the origin of dietary fiber. Additionally, approximately half of the population surveyed did not know the level of recommended daily intake for dietary fiber and were not familiar with soluble and insoluble fibers. It should be noted that statistically significant differences among genders, education level, living environment (rural versus urban and country of residence) were noted. However, the researchers report knowledge of dietary fiber was highest among participants from Romania. It should be noted that this study did not aim to explore knowledge of a specific population the research findings may have increased risk for chance resulting in statistically significant findings.  The authors conclude “The results in the present study allowed concluding that the participants revealed on average a positive global level of knowledge, although low, which means that still some measures must be adopted to inform the population about DF and its role as a component of a healthy diet.”

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June 6, 2016