Assesing the Knowledge, Attitudes and Eating Habits of Dietary Fibers in Tîrgu-Mureş Population

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Background: The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and eating habits upon consumption of dietary fibers in a group of people from Tirgu-Mures area.

Material and Method: We used a transversal descriptive study conducted on a group of 251 subjects from the urban area (76.4%), as well as from the rural area (23.6%), aged between 18 and 62 years, obtained using an online questionnaire consisting of 40 questions related to knowledge and attitude towards dietary fibers and estimated consumption of fiber from whole foods.

Results: In the study group, we observed that 21.28% consumed whole cereals once per week and 18% did not consume cereals at all; regarding fruit consumption 17.44% consumed 6-8 pieces/week, and 3.4% consumed over 18 pieces/week. Frequency of fast food –meals consuming: 67.68% did not consume fast-food meals, 25.25% ate fast food once/week, and 1.1% consumed fast food between 8-10 times/week. Concerning the statement that fibers can prevent and/or treat colon cancer and obesity, 40% fully accepted the statement, 40% agreed, 14.29% were indifferent and 4.7% were against. From the total group of subjects, approximately 37.6% knew the meaning and classification of dietary fiber, 26.8% knew the recommended amount of fiber to be consumed daily, and 5.9% did not check the fiber content of foods ever.

Conclusions: The inclusion of cereals and whole foods in diet is recommended in all nutrition guidelines worldwide, because of their association with a high health status, and prevention of chronic diseases. Consumers need to understand the benefits of whole foods, also to recognize and read the information about it on food labels.

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