Research Original Research| Volume 112, ISSUE 5, P642-648, May 2012

Trends in Dietary Fiber Intake in the United States, 1999-2008

Published:April 25, 2012DOI:



      Intake of dietary fiber has been recommended for many years as part of the guidelines from the American Heart Association, the Institute of Medicine, and other groups. The recommended Adequate Intake for dietary fiber for adults is 25 to 38 g/day (14 g/1,000 kcal/day).


      To determine the average daily intake of dietary fiber among adults during the past decade and, specifically, to document progress toward national goals.


      Cross-sectional weighted data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey among adults aged 18 years and older.


      Data were collected from noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 years and older using a nationally representative, complex, multistage, probability-based survey of people living in the United States that was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.

      Main outcome measures

      Daily dietary fiber intake by members of the US population based on 2-year groupings of the continuous survey from 1999 to 2008.


      Mean daily dietary fiber intake for 1999-2000 was 15.6 g/day, for 2001-2002 intake was 16.1g/day, for 2003-2004 intake was 15.5 g/day, for 2005-2006 intake was 15.8 g/day, and for 2007-2008 intake was 15.9 g/day. Participants with obesity (body mass index ≥30) consistently reported lower fiber intake than did individuals with normal weight or overweight (14.6 to 15.4 g/day and 15.6 to 16.8 g/day, respectively; P<0.0001). Mexican Americans had significantly higher intake in 1999-2000 than non-Hispanic whites (18.0 vs 16.1g/day; P<0.05), but Mexican Americans' intake did not increase over time (17.7 g/day in 2007-2008). Non-Hispanic blacks had fiber intake of 12.5 g/day at baseline that increased modestly to 13.1 g/day by 2007-2008.


      Daily fiber intake generally has not progressed toward national goals during the past decade, but there are some differences according to health and social factors. Additional clinical practice and public health strategies are needed.


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      D. E. King is a professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.


      A. G. Mainous III is a professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.


      C. A. Lambourne is a research assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.