Is the link between nutrients and foods understood? The case of fibre and folate

Cashel, K.M., Crawford, David, Deakin, V. and Talbot, B. 2001, Is the link between nutrients and foods understood? The case of fibre and folate, Public health nutrition, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 913-918, doi: 10.1079/PHN2001128.

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Title Is the link between nutrients and foods understood? The case of fibre and folate
Author(s) Cashel, K.M.
Crawford, DavidORCID iD for Crawford, David
Deakin, V.
Talbot, B.
Journal name Public health nutrition
Volume number 4
Issue number 4
Start page 913
End page 918
Publisher CABI Publishing
Place of publication Wallingford, England
Publication date 2001
ISSN 1368-9800
Keyword(s) folate
health claims
Summary Objectives: To assess and contrast awareness of the link between dietary fibre and folate and their major food sources (fruit, vegetables, bread and cereals).

Design and setting: Mailed questionnaire investigating changes made to dietary intake of fibre, folate, fruit, vegetables, bread and cereals in the previous six months.

Setting: The survey was conducted between June and November 1998 in the Australian Capital Territory.

Subjects: One thousand one hundred and twenty-six adults randomly selected from the electoral roll.

Results: More women than men in both older (50 + years) and younger (18–49 years) age groups reported increasing their consumption of folate, fibre, fruit and vegetables in the prior six months. In contrast, more men than women reported increased consumption of bread, cereals, rice and pasta in the previous six months. For food categories and fibre, less than 4% of respondents were unsure about changes in these food habits. However, 26% of men and women were ‘not sure’ about changes to folate intake. Similar proportions of men and women (about 33%) reported consuming more fruit, vegetables or cereal-based foods over the prior six months, yet only 6% of these men and 14% of these women reported consuming more folate. In contrast, 44% of men and 51% of women who reported consuming more plant foods also reported consuming more dietary fibre.

Conclusions: The results suggested that subjects, particularly the younger age group, had a poor understanding of the relationship between folate intake and its major food sources. The understanding of the relationship between fibre intake and its food sources appeared substantial, but confusion about specific food sources was still evident. These outcomes question the effectiveness of nutrition education used to date, particularly for the current priority of increasing folate intake in younger women in the new, ‘health claims’ environment.

Language eng
DOI 10.1079/PHN2001128
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, The Authors
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