Dietary fiber intake by American preschoolers is associated with more nutrient-dense diets

Sibylle Kranz, Diane C Mitchell, Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Helen Smiciklas-Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To illustrate and discuss implications of the new Diet Reference Intakes for fiber, relative to a nationally representative sample of American preschoolers.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study using the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals 1994-1996, 1998.

SUBJECTS: Children 2 through 5 years of age who provided 2 days of dietary intake data (N=5,437) were grouped and 2- and 3-year-olds (n=2,805) were compared with 4- and 5-year-olds.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Descriptive analysis (mean+/-standard error) was used to describe the sample and to rank children into quartiles of dietary fiber intake. Nonparametric test for trend was employed to examine significance level of observed changes in nutrient and food group consumption by increasing fiber intake quartiles.

RESULTS: Main contributors to dietary fiber intakes were low-fiber fruits and legumes. Children in the high-fiber quartile consumed diets with higher nutrient and fiber density and increased number of servings of Food Guide Pyramid food groups. Many children in this population did not meet intake recommendations of "age plus five," and most lacked the 14 g/1,000 kcal of energy consumed, even after considering a hypothetical estimated average of 5 g/day functional fiber.

CONCLUSIONS: Children would benefit from diets higher in fiber. Newly recommended intake levels are only met by a few and further studies need to be conducted to provide evidence for a recommended intake level of fiber in children. Average consumption of functional fiber in children has to be examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • Age Distribution
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Energy Intake
  • Fabaceae
  • Female
  • Food Analysis
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritive Value
  • United States


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