May 29/Augusta, Ga./Augusta Chronicle -- A study of more than 550 adolescents ages 14-18 recruited from Augusta high schools found that on average they got about 33% of the adequate amount of daily fiber, according to the report published online this month ahead of print in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Lower fiber intake was associated with an increase in visceral adipose tissue -- or belly fat -- and markers for increased inflammation, the study found. That kind of chronic inflammation is associated with the potential to develop health problems such as diabetes.

“Both high levels of inflammatory markers and high levels of visceral fat are associated with insulin insensitivity,” said co-author Dr. Norman Pollock, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the institute at GHSU, a condition that can lead to diabetes

It is the first study to look at the impact of fiber intake in adolescents, he said. However, the evidence of a growing problem in teens is already out there. A study published online in the journal Pediatrics found the rate of teens with diabetes or pre-diabetes increased from 9% in 1999 to 23% in 2008.

 From the May 30, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily Update