Europeans Largely Overestimate Their Intake of Dietary Fiber

Half of the European population considers that they eat enough fiber, shows a consumer observatory on dietary fiber run by ingredient producer Limagrain in collaboration with CREDOC. 

But perception is far from reality: data derived from nationwide dietary surveys indicate that a large majority of the populations have intakes below the recommended level. For example, 45% of British adults think they eat enough dietary fiber when actual data show that this is the case for only 9% of the adult population.

Today, the majority of European adults are not meeting the 25-35g/day recommendation for dietary fiber intake, says the study.

The survey, which plans to be repeated every three years, is part of Limagrain Ingredients’ European campaign “Eat fiber, Feel Better” which has two major objectives: to raise awareness of the inadequate level of dietary fiber in overall consumption, despite its recognized health benefits, and to help fill the fiber gap and improve overall health. Limagrain Ingredients is the producer of an improved wheat called LifyWheat, which is rich in resistant starch and is aimed to enable a higher daily consumption level of fiber among European populations. 

In 2021, this survey was conducted with 7,427 individuals (around 1,000 individuals online in each country: France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden).

The survey shows Europeans express varying levels of concern about nutrition depending on individual countries 32% of Europeans say that buying healthy food is the most important criterion ahead of buying tasty food (18%), satisfying basic needs (14%) and price (10%). 

The top 5 products perceived as containing the most dietary fiber are cereals (27% of respondents), fruit and vegetables (23%), legumes (18%), bread, pasta, biscuits (10%) and nuts & seeds (7%). This is relatively homogeneous across countries. However, there are some key differences: for example, only 18% of French respondents consider that cereals are the foods that contain the most fiber, in comparison to 33% in Spain.

Overall, European have a good knowledge of the dietary sources of fiber, in spite of the low recognition of cereal-based products (bread, pasta, biscuits) as fiber providers.

European have poor knowledge when it comes to identifying types of dietary fiber, except for bran (74%). For example, 72% do not identify resistant starch as dietary fiber and only 10% of the people surveyed indicate an awareness of what resistant starch is.

What is surprising is that only 23% of respondents in Europe know about microbiota. However, there are great disparities across countries. For example, 58% of the Swedish population are familiar with intestinal microbiota as opposed to 31% in France and 12% in Germany .

Only 13% of consumers appear “resistant” to increasing their fiber intake. The remaining 87% could be targeted by appropriate means such as better communication through labels (17%) and a wider range of fiber-rich products (14%). The increase in fiber consumption could be achieved by expanding the supply of naturally high-fiber foods, says the survey.

You might also like


Subscribe to our FREE NEWSLETTER and stay updated SUBSCRIBE

Privacy Preference Center

Strictly Necessary

These cookies are essential for websites built on Wordpress to perform their basic functions. These include those required to allow registered users to authenticate and perform account related functions.

wordpress_test_cookie, wordpress_{hash}, wordpress_logged_in_{hash}, wp-settings-{user_id}, wp_sharing_{id},gdpr[allowed_cookies],gdpr[consent_types]
_unam, _ga, _gid

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?