Fiber Report Card: We’re Failing

A sizable study recently showed just how little fiber Americans are eating…and just how bad that might be for us.

Dr. Cheryl R. Clark of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School recently analyzed national-level consumption data from 1999-2010.

In her report, published in the American Journal of Medicine, Dr. Clark found that on average, Americans eat just 16.2 grams of dietary fiber per day across all demographic groups.

Additionally, the groups that had the lowest fiber intakes were also those that had the highest likelihood of inflammation, obesity, and metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors that increases risk for other chronic diseases).

So, just how little is 16.2 grams of fiber per day?

Well, consider that the Institute of Medicine recommends:

  • 38 grams per day for men age 19-50
  • 25 grams per day for women age 19-50
  • 30 grams per day for men age 51+
  • 21 grams per day for women age 51+

A more simplified recommendation is that most adults should aim to get at least 30 grams of fiber per day.

Considering that most people eat just half of this recommended amount, as a nation, our fiber report card reports a big fat “F”.