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  1. Hornick, Betsy MS, RD
  2. Birkett, Anne PhD
  3. Liska, DeAnn PhD


There are several nutrients found to be inadequate in the American diet, but fiber deficit is one of worst. Nearly all Americans fall short in meeting daily fiber recommendations, on average missing target intakes by nearly one-half. This alarmingly low intake has important implications for public health, given the established role of fiber in health promotion and disease risk reduction. The fiber deficit persists despite efforts to promote greater intakes of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. However, these approaches also need to address energy balance and the problem of overconsumption of calories. As reported in parts 1 and 2 of this series, whole grains are positioned in dietary guidance as an important source of fiber, and consumers are choosing these foods with the expectation of getting a good source of fiber, yet the amount of fiber in whole-grain products can vary widely. This article will explore the role of fiber added to food as a complementary tactic to help improve intakes of total fiber without adding unnecessary calories.