Are Canadians Not Getting Enough Fibre?

Studies show that a good proportion of Canadian children do not consume enough vegetables and fruit as recommended, at least 5 servings/day. Fruit and vegetable intake has been declining slightly over the past 20 years. A marked decline is observed among adolescents due to a decrease in fruit juice consumption that is not compensated by an increased intake of whole fruit.(1) Fibre, which is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables, is a non-digestible carbohydrate. Fibre plays important roles in the body: bowel regularity and gives a feeling of prolonged satiety.(2) 

Dietary fibre intake in children, which is naturally present in fruits and vegetables, is far below the target intake or Adequate Intake (AI)(3):   

  • Fibre intake in 1–3-year-old: 9.9g/d (AI = 19g/day) 
  • Fibre intake for 4–8-year-old: 13.4g/d (AI = 25g/day) 

Given the benefits of fibre, public health experts encourage parents to give their children plenty of vegetables and fruit as an excellent source of fibre for a healthy, balanced diet. (1,4,5,) 

(1)  Polsky, JY., Garriguet, D. Change in vegetable and fruit consumption in Canada between 2004 and 2015. 24 june 2020. 

(2) Health Canada. What is fibre?

(3) Health Canada, 2012. Do Canadian Children Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone?

(4) Heart & Stroke Foundation. Position statement about vegetable & fruit consumption and heart disease and stroke. August 2013.

(5) Canada’s Food Guide. Eat vegetables and fruits.