This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

An update on fibre

Written by: | Published:

The benefits of fruits and grains are well-documen The benefits of fruits and grains are well-documented, but both adults and children still fail to eat enough fibre

Fibre has been associated with digestive health for a long time, and is described by the NHS as ‘an important part of a healthy diet’. It plays a vital role in preventing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes, improve digestive health and stopping weight gain.1 Despite this strong association with health, most adults and children do not eat enough of it.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2014 reports that intakes of fibre, fruit and vegetables are below those recommended, with the lowest intakes found in those under 65 years of age in the lowest income quintile.2 Without a universal definition, discussions about fibre can be confusing. Fibre has been defined differently, by different authorities.3,4 In 2015, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommended a new definition of fibre for the UK.4 For those advising on infant and child nutrition, a dichotomy may be felt between the need to include fibre in the diet and
the advice not to give infants and children the ‘high fibre, low fat’ diet traditionally recommended to adults, for fear of limiting the nutrients and energy needed for growth.3

This article seeks to review the current dietary fibre advice with regards to definition, dietary recommendations, health outcomes and offers some guidance on how to advise parents about including fibre in their child’s diet.

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.