Kellogg Audit Study Links Fiber with Longevity

18 Feb 2011 --- The study looked at the diets of more than 388,000 adults, ages 50 to 71, who participated in a nine-year diet and health study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP. A link was found between high-fiber diets and a lower risk of death from heart disease, infectious and respiratory illness and, in the case of men, certain cancers.

2/18/2011 --- Fill up on fiber each day and you just may live a longer life. A study published in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that people who eat a high-fiber diet may live longer than those who fail to get enough dietary fiber each day. Researchers specifically noted that dietary fiber from grains such as those found in breakfast cereal was significantly related to a lower risk of death from certain diseases in both men and women.

"Kellogg has long understood the important role fiber plays in overall health and is committed to helping Americans increase the fiber in their diet through foods they already eat and enjoy. This study is further proof of the significant contribution of fiber to the diet," said Lisa Sutherland, Ph.D., vice president, nutrition, Kellogg North America. "For this reason, Kellogg offers more ready-to-eat cereals that provide at least a good source of fiber and 8 grams of whole grains than any other U.S. food company." (1)

The study looked at the diets of more than 388,000 adults, ages 50 to 71, who participated in a nine-year diet and health study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP. A link was found between high-fiber diets and a lower risk of death from heart disease, infectious and respiratory illness and, in the case of men, certain cancers. In fact, the risk of dying from these diseases was reduced by 24 to 56 percent in men and 34 to 59 percent in women with high-fiber intakes.

While fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and beans, fiber from grains was most strongly tied to the lowered risk of death in the study. Grain-based fiber sources also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which may play a role in reducing the risk, so fiber supplements may not be as effective.

The new research comes on the heels of the recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which calls attention to fiber as a "nutrient of concern." The technical report of the Dietary Guidelines highlighted fiber's compelling association with reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, as well as fiber's role in promoting a healthy digestive system and in contributing to satiety (a feeling of fullness), which is important for weight control.

Despite efforts to increase fiber in their diets, more than 95 percent of Americans fall far short of meeting their daily fiber needs. Americans' fiber deficit cuts deep, averaging only 15 grams of fiber per day, far less than the recommended 21 to 38 grams for most adults and 19 to 38 grams for children ages 1 to 18.

"This latest research, combined with the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines last month, should serve as wake-up call to all Americans to start making some small changes to their diets to ensure they are getting enough of this nutrient so important for overall health," said Sutherland. "Making simple changes, such as swapping your low-fiber breakfast cereal for a higher-fiber cereal that provides at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, can help close the gap."

(1) Based on a Kellogg audit of national breakfast cereals in September 2010. The data was drawn from label, website and a syndicated database and includes nationally distributed ready-to-eat cereals from Kellogg, General Mills, Post, Quaker and Malt-O-Meal.
 

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