Dietary fibre: eating habits and knowledge in different regions of the globe

Viktória Szűcs, Raquel Pinho Ferreira Guiné, Marcela Leal, Manuela Ferreira, Paula Correia, João Duarte


Dietary fibre (DF) is an important component in a healthy diet and its consumption constitutes one tool that can be used to lower risk factors for many diseases. Because DF has so many health benefits, this study aimed at comparing the eating habits and attitudes towards labelling as well as the knowledge about fibre rich foods and their health effects in three countries situated in different parts of the globe (Argentina, Portugal and Hungary). For that, a descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on a convenience non-probabilistic sample of 1525 participants, by questionnaire survey. The results showed that the ingestion of DF was below the recommended dosages in the three countries, and people in general do not care much about the nutritional information in the food labels or the contents in DF. Internet appeared as a very important media that people use to get information about DF or healthy eating, while hospitals and health centre seem to fail somewhat on their educational role. Finally, in general, the respondents showed a moderate level of knowledge about the nature and sources of DF but a better knowledge about its effects on human health, being this similar among the countries at study.


Dietary fibre; eating habits; fibre rich foods; questionnaire survey; sources of fibre

Full Text:



Bhatt, I. D., Rawat, S., Badhani, A., & Rawal, R. S. (2017). Nutraceutical potential of selected wild edible fruits of the Indian Himalayan region. Food Chemistry, 215, 84–91.

Brownlee, I. A., Chater, P. I., Pearson, J. P., & Wilcox, M. D. (sem data). Dietary fibre and weight loss: Where are we now? Food Hydrocolloids.

DL-54. (2010, Maio 28). Decreto-Lei no 54/2010 - 28 Maio. Diário da República, 104 (I Série), 1842–1847.

Feuerstein, J. D., & Falchuk, K. R. (2016). Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 91(8), 1094–1104.

Geng, P., Harnly, J. M., & Chen, P. (2016). Differentiation of bread made with whole grain and refined wheat (T. aestivum) flour using LC/MS-based chromatographic fingerprinting and chemometric approaches. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 47, 92–100.

Gonzalez, C. A., & Riboli, E. (2010). Diet and cancer prevention: Contributions from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. European Journal of Cancer (Oxford, England: 1990), 46(14), 2555–2562.

Guiné, R. P. F., Sousa, R., Alves, A., Teixeira, L., Figueiredo, C., Fonseca, S., … Ferreira, D. (2010). Phenolic, dietetic fibre and sensorial analyses of apples from regional varieties produced in conventional and biological mode. Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal, 12(2), 70–78.

Hall, R. S., Baxter, A. L., Fryirs, C., & Johnson, S. K. (2010). Liking of health-functional foods containing lupin kernel fibre following repeated consumption in a dietary intervention setting. Appetite, 55(2), 232–237.

Jessri, M., Rashidkhani, B., Hajizadeh, B., Jessri, M., & Gotay, C. (2011). Macronutrients, vitamins and minerals intake and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a case-control study in Iran. Nutrition Journal, 10(1), 137.

Jones, J. M. (2014). CODEX-aligned dietary fiber definitions help to bridge the «fiber gap». Nutrition Journal, 13, 34.

Jowett, S. L., Seal, C. J., Phillips, E., Gregory, W., Barton, J. R., & Welfare, M. R. (2004). Dietary beliefs of people with ulcerative colitis and their effect on relapse and nutrient intake. Clinical Nutrition, 23(2), 161–170.

Khoshoo, V., Sun, S. S., & Storm, H. (2010). Tolerance of an Enteral Formula with Insoluble and Prebiotic Fiber in Children with Compromised Gastrointestinal Function. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(11), 1728–1733.

Kim, Y., & Je, Y. (2016). Dietary fibre intake and mortality from cardiovascular disease and all cancers: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases, 109(1), 39–54.

Lee, M. S., & Thompson, J. K. (2016). Exploring enhanced menu labels’ influence on fast food selections and exercise-related attitudes, perceptions, and intentions. Appetite, 105, 416–422.

Ma, M., & Mu, T. (2016). Anti-diabetic effects of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre from deoiled cumin in low-dose streptozotocin and high glucose-fat diet-induced type 2 diabetic rats. Journal of Functional Foods, 25, 186–196.

Macagnan, F. T., da Silva, L. P., & Hecktheuer, L. H. (2016). Dietary fibre: The scientific search for an ideal definition and methodology of analysis, and its physiological importance as a carrier of bioactive compounds. Food Research International, 85, 144–154.

Mackie, A., Bajka, B., & Rigby, N. (2016). Roles for dietary fibre in the upper GI tract: The importance of viscosity. Food Research International, (88–Part B), 234–238.

Mackie, A., Rigby, N., Harvey, P., & Bajka, B. (2016). Increasing dietary oat fibre decreases the permeability of intestinal mucus. Journal of Functional Foods, 26, 418–427.

Martinho, C., Correia, A., Goncalves, F., Abrantes, J., Carvalho, R., & Guine, R. (2013). Study About the Knowledge and Attitudes of the Portuguese Population About Food Fibres. Current Nutrition & Food Science, 9(3), 180–188.

Namin, A. (2017). Revisiting customers’ perception of service quality in fast food restaurants. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 34, 70–81.

Ozkan, Y., Ucar, M., Yildiz, K., & Ozturk, B. (2016). Pre-harvest gibberellic acid (GA3) treatments play an important role on bioactive compounds and fruit quality of sweet cherry cultivars. Scientia Horticulturae, 211, 358–362.

Tang, L., Xu, F., Zhang, T., Lei, J., Binns, C. W., & Lee, A. H. (2013). Dietary fibre intake associated with reduced risk of oesophageal cancer in Xinjiang, China. Cancer Epidemiology, 37(6), 893–896.

Taylor, C. M., Northstone, K., Wernimont, S. M., & Emmett, P. M. (2016). Picky eating in preschool children: Associations with dietary fibre intakes and stool hardness. Appetite, 100, 263–271.

Tudoran, A., Olsen, S. O., & Dopico, D. C. (2009). The effect of health benefit information on consumers health value, attitudes and intentions. Appetite, 52(3), 568–579.

van Loo, E. S., Dijkstra, G., Ploeg, R. J., & Nieuwenhuijs, V. B. (2012). Prevention of postoperative recurrence of Crohn’s disease. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, 6(6), 637–646.

Vargas-Murga, L., de Rosso, V. V., Mercadante, A. Z., & Olmedilla-Alonso, B. (2016). Fruits and vegetables in the Brazilian Household Budget Survey (2008–2009): carotenoid content and assessment of individual carotenoid intake. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 50, 88–96.

WHO. (2003). Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consolation. Geneve, Switzerland.

WHO. (2004). Food and Health in Europe: a new basis for action. Geneve, Switzerland.

Wu, A. H., Tseng, C.-C., Hankin, J., & Bernstein, L. (2007). Fiber intake and risk of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and stomach. Cancer Causes & Control: CCC, 18(7), 713–722.

Yen, C.-H., Tseng, Y.-H., Kuo, Y.-W., Lee, M.-C., & Chen, H.-L. (2011). Long-term supplementation of isomalto-oligosaccharides improved colonic microflora profile, bowel function, and blood cholesterol levels in constipated elderly people—A placebo-controlled, diet-controlled trial. Nutrition, 27(4), 445–450.

Zhang, Z., Xu, G., Ma, M., Yang, J., & Liu, X. (2013). Dietary Fiber Intake Reduces Risk for Gastric Cancer: A Meta-analysis. Gastroenterology, 145(1), 113–120.e3.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Developed by:

Licença Creative CommonsIndexed in: