Interest in digestive health increases

by Laurie Gorton
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When it comes to health-and-wellness concerns, digestive matters rank high with consumers. With this increasing interest in digestive health, increasing fiber consumption is also occurring, according to Beth Peta, bakery marketing manager at Cargill, Wayzata, MN. She shared recent surveys, including the Gallup Report on Probiotics, the IFIC Food & Health Survey and the NMI Health & Wellness Trends, which noted:

  • 38% of US consumers are currently managing a digestive problem.
  • 70% of the body’s ability to ward off infection and disease begins in the digestive tract.
  • 68% of adults are making an effort to strengthen their immune system.
  • 79% of adults are trying to increase consumption of fiber
  • About 50% of people consume just half of the 25 to 30 g per day of dietary fiber that the American Heart Association recommends.*
  • 66% of people use fiber as a weight loss tool, making it a top weight loss method.

* The American Dietetic Association advised healthy adults to consume 20 to 35 g of fiber daily, and the American Diabetes Association urged people at risk of type 2 diabetes to eat at least 14 g fiber per 1,000 Cal consumed, a level also suggested by the US Department of Agriculture for the general population. The Food and Drug Administration uses 25 g dietary fiber per 2,000-Cal intake as its Reference Value for nutrition labeling.

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