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Fiber has become the Next Big Thing in nutrition


Fiber has become the Next Big Thing in nutrition


The Health & Nutrition Letter from Tufts University for February 2009 contained a special report on fiber:
Fiber—it’s not just for Grandma anymore. Long the butt of jokes and hopelessly “un-hip,” fiber has become
the Next Big Thing in nutrition as Americans become more aware of its health benefits beyond battling
constipation. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey found that dietary fiber information is
the only labeling component to have seen an increase in use by U.S. consumers over the past decade.
Another indicator of the importance of fiber is the attention being paid to it by the food companies with
the largest research divisions. Have you noticed how many new high-fiber packaged food products have been
added to the shelves in recent months?Kellogg’s, Quaker Oats, General Mills, and Proctor & Gamble are just
a few of the companies offering new products with added fiber. In addition, a number of other product
categories have added fiber recently as well. Take a look in the dairy case of your local grocery
store and you’ll find high-fiber yogurt and high-fiber soymilk!People are waking up to the power of fiber.


Twinkies, Twinkies Everywhere
The State of American Nutrition
1. Americans eat more than 500 million Twinkies per year. Chicago is “the Twinkie capital of
the world,” gobbling down 27 million Twinkies annually. There is no fiber in a Twinkie.
2. Each year Americans drink an average of 490 12-ounce soft drinks. There’s almost ¼ cup of
sugar in a can of regular soda.
3. 34% of Americans are obese, with 33% being “overweight” and only 33% at normal weight.
Only 5% of persons aged 12 to 19 were obese in 1976. Today it’s 18%.
4. In the 1800s, the average American consumed only 10 pounds of sugar per year. Today it’s 158
pounds. There is no fiber in sugar.
5. The U.S. is the fattest country in the world.Mexico is second, the U.K. third.
6. Obesity can shorten your life by 10 years. In 2000, obesity accounted for 400,000 American
deaths, up from 300,000 in 1990.
7. Obesity will soon surpass tobacco as the leading cause of cancer in America.
8. American health care expenditures totaled $2.4 trillion in 2007, equal to 17% of the gross
domestic product (GDP), rising at twice the rate of inflation.
9. The number of children who took pills for type 2 diabetes more than doubled from 2002 to 2005.
Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to obesity. An estimated one out of every three children born in 2000
 will develop type 2 diabetes.
10. Texas is the least healthy state, with Tennessee and South Carolina not far behind.
Vermont is the healthiest state, with Hawaii and New Hampshire following.


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