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After a recent Kellogg Co. survey revealed that consumers don’t know where to find fiber, and mistakenly believe that products containing “whole grain” provide it, the Battle Creek, Mich.-based manufacturer decided to take decisive action. Its solution: FIBER-pe-dia.
The online report, created by Kellogg and nationally recognized dietitian Leslie Bonci, provides consumers with the necessary knowledge to incorporate good sources of fiber into their diets. FIBER-pe-dia also clearly explains how fiber can be beneficial to a healthy weight, digestive health and heart health, as well as the key role fiber plays in helping to keep children’s digestive systems healthy so they can absorb nutrients. The report can be found, along with other helpful tools, at www.kelloggsnutrition.com or www.fiber-pedia.com.
According to Kellogg, FIBER-pe-dia is a sorely needed resource. “The consumer confusion around fiber and whole grains is staggering,” noted Nelson Almeida, VP, global nutrition for Kellogg. “Survey results highlight the fact that even people who are trying to improve their diets may be failing to do so because of this confusion.”
“Fiber brings big benefits. Yet only five percent of Americans get enough of it,” added Bonci. “Confusion about how to find foods with fiber likely contributes to America’s fiber deficit.” In addition to checking out FIBER-pe-dia, she suggested that shoppers consult the Nutrition Facts Panel for the fiber content of the foods they purchase.
The Kellogg survey additionally found that nearly 70 percent of American adults are trying to increase the amount of fiber in their diets by eating more “whole grains.” Of respondents who see the words “whole grain” on a food package, 75 percent believe the product to be either a good or excellent source of fiber, but this isn’t always true, the company said, noting that the fiber content of whole grain foods can vary widely, while some fiber-rich foods have no whole grain ingredients at all.
Survey results also showed that consumers expect foods “made with whole grains” to provide digestive health benefits (63 percent) and help lower cholesterol (47 percent), whereas research has consistently linked such health benefits to fiber.
“Kellogg is taking a leadership role in helping consumers understand how to get more fiber in their diets,” said Almeida. “Cereal is a great way to do so.”
To that end, in response to research showing that that fewer than one in 10 children and adults get enough fiber, Kellogg is adding the nutrient to many of its ready-to-eat cereals in the United States and Canada. By the close of 2010, almost 80 percent of Kellogg’s U.S. ready-to-eat cereals will be at least good to excellent sources of fiber.
“Since fiber is so important to children’s health, we’re first increasing the fiber in many of our most-popular children’s cereals -- beginning with Kellogg’s Froot Loops and Apple Jacks, which will start to appear on U.S. store shelves in August,” said Celeste A. Clark, Ph.D., SVP global nutrition and corporate affairs. “Adding fiber without changing the taste kids love is an ideal way to help parents increase their children’s daily fiber intakes.”
The company says it already has more ready-to-eat cereals that are at least a good source of fiber than any other food company, including Frosted Mini-Wheats, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and All-Bran. Kellogg introduced its first fiber cereals in the early 1900s. In Canada, the manufacturer’s products and schedule will vary.
With 2008 sales of nearly $13 billion, Kellogg is the world’s top producer of cereal and a leading producer of such convenience foods as cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods.