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WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Not eating enough fiber doesn’t kill you. But the disease states that result from a poor fiber diet do. Not a believer? Then you too may be a victim of IDS (irrational disbelief syndrome), the tongue-in-cheek faux condition that Fiber One touts as being the No. 1 cause behind America’s lack of fiber faith.
(THE NEWS: Lack of fiber in Americans' diet caused by negative perception, Mintel finds. For the full story, click here)
The IDS condition may have been created out the mind of a General Mills marketer, but the lack of fiber in the typical American’s diet is real. As are the disease states that fiber deficiency can trigger such disease states as cardiovascular disease, colorectal and esophageal cancer, obesity, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease. A number of other less severe conditions is also correlated with a low fiber intake — elevated cholesterol levels, hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea and flatulence.
The real conclusion you can draw from this study is that Americans don’t know what they don’t know — fiber doesn’t taste good; only people suffering from digestive issues need to supplement their diets with fiber; all fibers are created equal. False, false and false. And that spells opportunity for a whole host of manufacturers in moving the needle around fiber education.