A regular intake of dietary fibre has been associated with a number of health benefits. Consuming a high fibre diet may significantly lower the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and obesity (Anderson et al, 2009). Foods high in fibre such as fruit, vegetables, legumes and wholegrains are regularly included in diets targeting weight loss as they are low in fat, sugar and salt and contain a number of vitamins and minerals. Participants in trials using healthy background diets may increase their fibre intake in addition to the study variables. The aim of this study was to report on the baseline fibre intake of the study sample involved in the SMART weight loss clinical trial (ACTRN12608000425392).
One-hundred and six volunteers, 82 females (45.37.89 years) and 24 males (44.610.32 years), completed a 3-day food record at baseline (t=0). Dietary data was entered into FoodWorks and Chi-Square analysis was used to test for significance.
Female participants consumed an average of 23.64(6.92) g fibre/day and males 26.04(6.78) g/day. 16 out of 24 males and 50 out of 82 females were consuming less than the Adequate Intake (AI) for Australian Adults. A significant difference was found between baseline fibre intakes when compared with current AI in male participants (p = 0.009).
In this trial, baseline fibre intakes were below the current recommendations for males and females. These intakes are likely to increase following the implementation of a healthy eating pattern prescribed in this trial. This has implications for examining total and nutrient dietary effects.