Fiber and Body Composition

March 24/Los Angeles/Biotech Law Weekly --Fresh data on life sciences are presented in the report "Dietary Fiber and Associations with Adiposity and Fasting Insulin Among College Students with Plausible Dietary Reports." The researchers "examined dietary fiber intake, food sources of dietary fiber, and the relation of dietary fiber to body composition and metabolic parameters in college students with plausible dietary reports. Students (18-24 years of age) provided data on anthropometry, fasting blood chemistries, and body composition (bioelectric impedance)."

"Diet and physical activity were assessed with the Diet History Questionnaire and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Plausible dietary reporters were identified (±1 SD cutoffs for reported energy intake as a percentage of predicted energy requirement). Multiple regression analyses were conducted with the total (n=298) and plausible (n=123) samples, adjusting for age, race, sex, smoking status, physical activity, energy intake and fat-free mass (where applicable). Food sources of dietary fiber were similar in men and women. In the plausible sample compared with the total sample, dietary fiber was more strongly associated with fat mass (beta=-0.24, p<0.001), percentage of body fat (beta=-0.23, p<0.001), body mass index (beta=-0.11, p<0.01), waist circumference (beta=-0.67, p<0.05), and fasting insulin (beta=-0.15, p<0.001). When the effect of sex was investigated, dietary fiber was inversely related to fasting insulin and fat mass in men and women and inversely related to percentage of body fat, body mass index and waist circumference in men only (p <0.05). Inclusion of implausible dietary reports may result in spurious or weakened diet-health associations," wrote C.E. Byrd-Williams and colleagues with University of Southern California Department of Preventive Medicine.

The researchers concluded, "Dietary fiber is negatively associated with fasting insulin levels in men and women and consistently associated with adiposity measurements in men."

Byrd-Williams and colleagues published their study in Nutrition ("Dietary Fiber and Associations with Adiposity and Fasting Insulin Among College Students with Plausible Dietary Reports." Nutrition, 2009;25(9):896-904).

For additional information, contact C.E. Byrd-Williams, University of Southern California, Dept. of Preventive Medicine, Los Angeles, Cal.

From the March 29, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition