Whilst the health benefits of fibre are becoming more widely known, intake remains low. New consumer research , conducted by Tate & Lyle amongst UK adults, has found that more than a third (36%) of people think they are not consuming enough fibre.
The survey revealed that 32% of consumers didn’t know the UK government’s daily fibre recommendation of 30g, with 1 in 10 (12%) thinking they recommend as little as 15g a day.
However, appetite for education on the subject was high, with 87% of people keen to know if they were getting the daily recommended amount of fibre in their diet, and the majority (94%) prepared to make changes to their diet to increase their fibre intake.
The survey also found that whilst many consumers know that eating fibre helps keep bowel function regular (65%) and improves digestive health (70%) far fewer understand that getting the right amount of fibre is highly beneficial for wider health and wellbeing, including lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers (40%).
The new fibre calculator tool from Tate & Lyle, created in partnership with the British Nutrition Foundation, asks the user eight questions to assess their current eating habits, before giving them an overall fibre score, and offering simple tips and personalised advice about how to increase their fibre consumption.
Dr Kavita Karnik, Global Head, Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs at Tate & Lyle, said: “We’re delighted to launch our new fibre calculator and hope the availability of a tool like this helps raise awareness amongst consumers of their ‘fibre gap’ and how to improve their daily intake of fibre.
“We know that reaching the daily fibre recommendation is challenging, and for most people it is difficult to do so without exceeding their recommended calorie intake. This is where reformulation of the everyday products like cereal bars, yoghurt, and sports drinks, can be really effective in improving nutritional intakes.”
The research also uncovered opportunities for food and drink manufacturers to provide more information to consumers on the amount of fibre in their products to prompt them to make healthier choices in the supermarket. 60% of people are interested in eating more foods fortified with fibre, but only 1 in 10 (11%) consider the fibre content of food when doing their food shop currently.
Stereotypes around fibre still exist, with consumers associating the words bland (10%) and stodgy (9%) with fibre. However, there are plenty of simple, tasty and everyday swaps, including swapping white rice for brown rice, adding lots of vegetables and pulses to pasta sauces and eating potatoes in their skins.
Sara Stanner, Science Director at the British Nutrition Foundation added: “We know that many people need to eat more fibre to support better health, but often awareness around how to improve diets is lacking and healthy behaviour change is challenging. This is why a tool like this new fibre calculator can be so helpful in raising awareness and educating people on how they can improve their diets and overall health.”
Tate & Lyle has launched this calculator as part of their Gut Health Campaign, which aims to raise consumer understanding of the benefits of fibre as well as their technical expertise and offering to customers.
For more information and tips on how to increase your fibre intake visit: tateandlyle.com/guthealth
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1004 UK consumers (aged between 18-80) were surveyed from 2 August 2022 – 3 August 2022.
The data for this survey was collected using SurveyMonkey Audience consumer panel. Information on how respondents are recruited to SurveyMonkey is available here.
About the British Nutrition Foundation
Connecting people, food and science for better nutrition and healthier lives.
The British Nutrition Foundation, a registered charity, delivers impartial, authoritative and evidence-based information on food and nutrition. Its core purpose is translating evidence-based nutrition science in engaging and actionable ways, working with an extensive network of contacts across academia, health care, education, communication and the food chain. A core strength of the Foundation is its governance structure (described in the Articles of Association), which comprises a Board of Trustees, Advisory Committee, Scientific Committee, Editorial Advisory Board, Education Working Groups and a Nominations Committee, on which serve senior/experienced individuals from many walks of life. The composition is deliberately weighted towards the scientific ‘academic’ community, based in universities and research institutes, and those from education, finance, media, communications and HR backgrounds.
The British Nutrition Foundation’s funding comes from: membership subscriptions; donations and project grants from food producers and manufacturers, retailers and food service companies; contracts with government departments; conferences, publications and training; overseas projects; funding from grant providing bodies, trusts and other charities. The British Nutrition Foundation is not a lobbying organisation nor does it endorse any products or engage in food advertising campaigns.
More details about the British Nutrition Foundation can be found at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk