Contribution of fruit, vegetables, whole cereals, and legumes to total fibre intake in adult Croatian Dalmatian population
There is compelling evidence that fruit, vegetables, whole cereals, and legumes make about 80 % of the total food fibre intake and have a potential to help in the prevention of a number of diseases. The aim of our study was to estimate total fibre intake from consumption of this fibre-rich food, partly reported in our earlier study in Croatian adult population. Current data analysis involved a non-probabilistic sample of 1,034 adult participants from Dalmatia, Croatia who responded to a validated food frequency questionnaire between October 2014 and March 2015. We also analysed the sales data obtained from three shopping centres in the Zadar area (Croatian coast) to establish a list of most frequently bought fruit, vegetables, whole cereals, and legumes and to calculate dietary fibre (DF) intake for each of the top-selling items and conversion factors for each food group. We then used these conversion factors to calculate individual total fibre intake (TFI) in our population. It was 11.4 g per person per day, which is less than half the recommended dietary requirements. On average, respondents reported to consume one piece of fruit and one meal of vegetables a day, which is less than half the daily recommendation for either. 25.8 % of respondents reported no consumption of whole cereals at all, and only 0.2 % of the population consumed the recommended 3–5 servings of whole grains or legumes a day. We also observed significantly higher consumption of fruit and whole grains/legumes in women than men. Our findings alert to poor dietary fibre intake in Croatian adult population, which is similar to other western countries and points to issues deeply rooted in these economies. However, our findings may be either an over- or under-estimation and need to be verified through longitudinal research on a wider sample using more precise tools.