Factors Affecting the Intake of Dietary Fiber in the United States Diet

The 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that individuals consume around 25 grams of dietary fiber per person per day. Yet despite these recommendations, consumers do not purchase enough foods high in dietary fiber. To investigate the factors behind this behavior, we perform an empirical analysis using Nielsen Homescan data for 2011 with a sample of 62,092 households from across the United States. This research contributes to the literature by simultaneously investigating per capita purchases of products containing fiber: bread, pasta, tortilla, and fresh produce (fruit and vegetables combined). We perform the estimation using a seemingly unrelated regression framework with a Tobit model setting for each equation in order to account for the censored nature of the available data. Preliminary results suggest that individuals that use coupons generally report purchasing more fiber per capita. Those living below 130 percent and below 185 percent of the federal poverty level purchase less fiber per capita from bread and pasta. For these individuals, the fiber purchased from produce is not significantly different from the individuals above the cutoff levels. Those with a higher income or education report more consumption of fiber per capita from produce and less from bread and pasta.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
D12; I18
Series Statement:
Paper 21

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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