The Health Benefits of Fiber

W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPh


US Pharmacist. 2006;31(6):20-28. 

In This Article

Daily Fiber Recommendations

The average American has a daily fiber intake of only 14 to 15 g. The daily recommendations for fiber intake are higher than this, but they do vary slightly among population groups. For instance, the American Dietetic Association recommends an intake of 20 to 35 g for adults, 25 g daily for girls ages 9 through 18 years and 31 to 38 g for boys ages 9 through 18.[1,2] The American Heart Association recommends 25 to 30 g daily.[3] In 1994, the Institute for Cancer Prevention simplified fiber intake guidelines for Americans as the "age + 5" rule.[4] For children age 2 years and older, the rule is that children should consume a number of grams of fiber each day that equals their age plus 5 additional grams. Thus, a 7-year-old should consume 12 g of fiber daily for optimal health. This rule should be applied throughout adolescence until the person reaches age 20, when the adult guidelines should be used.


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