Boosting fiber intake in older adults is very important, study finds

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A study by the University of Reading, published in the journal Appetite, reveals that older adults in the UK are open to increasing their dietary fiber intake but often lack the necessary information and guidance.

Despite the known benefits of a high-fiber diet for digestion, heart health, and diabetes risk management, most older UK adults consume less fiber than recommended.

Researchers collaborated with over 150 adults aged 65 and above to create materials designed to educate and encourage higher fiber consumption.

This approach involved the older adults in developing two resources: a factsheet and a brochure with practical tips.

The materials emphasized dietary guidelines, health benefits, fiber-rich food sources, and meal ideas, presented with clear visuals and simple language.

Positive Outcomes

The participatory method proved effective, as participants expressed a keen interest in learning and a willingness to modify their diets.

The study’s co-author, Dr. Vic Norton, noted that the tailored materials resonated well with the older adults, who showed a strong inclination to increase their fiber intake after being informed.

To reach a broader audience, the study suggests disseminating the information through general practitioners, community centers, and supermarkets. Additionally, there is a call for the food industry to create more high-fiber food options that cater to older adults.

The Road Ahead

While the study highlights a successful educational approach, further research is needed to determine if increased awareness leads to sustained changes in dietary habits.

The researchers are optimistic that with concerted efforts to improve awareness and accessibility, the fiber intake of the UK’s older population can align with dietary recommendations.

In summary, the University of Reading’s study underscores the importance of involving older adults in educational initiatives to improve their dietary habits.

By providing clear, relevant, and engaging information, there is a significant opportunity to enhance the nutritional well-being of older adults through increased fiber consumption.

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For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

The research findings can be found in Appetite.

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