Dietary fiber may help prevent obesity

Researchers from Europe studied the association of total dietary fiber with changes in weight and waist circumference.

First, the details.

  • 89,432 adult Europeans who were free of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes were followed for about 6.5 years.
  • Dietary information was collected using country-specific food-frequency questionnaires.
  • Potential confounding factors were considered in the data analysis.

And, the results.

  • Higher total fiber intake was associated with lower weight and waist circumference.
  • Total fiber
    • Increasing the diet by 10 grams/day was associated with a –39 grams/year weight change.
    • There was a –0.08 cm/year change in waist circumference.
  • Fiber from cereal
    • Increasing the diet by 10 grams/day was associated with –77 gram/year weight change
    • There was a –0.10 cm/year change in waist circumference.
  • Fruit and vegetable fiber
    • These sources of fiber were not associated with weight change.
    • However, there was a similar association with waist circumference change compared with total dietary fiber and cereal fiber intake.

The bottom line?

Let’s focus on fiber from breakfst cereal.

In order to increase your cereal fiber content by about 10 grams per day, it’s necessary to eat 1 bowel of Kellogg’s All-Bran per day, for example.

The authors concluded, “Our finding may support a beneficial role of higher intake of dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber, in prevention of body-weight and waist circumference gain.”

True, but the changes are very small. It takes a out 500 grams to equal 1 pound. So, the return benefit for eating 1 bowl of All-Bran daily for a year is weight reduction of 77 grams, or less than 0.2 pounds. presents a primer on fiber.

1/7/10 20:27 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.