Dietary fiber intake and its association with indicators of adiposity and serum biomarkers in European adolescents: the HELENA study

Yi Lin, Inge Huybrechts, Carine Vereecken, Theodora Mouratidou, Jara Valtueña, Mathilde Kersting, Marcela González-Gross, Selin Bolca, Julia Wärnberg, Magdalena Cuenca-García, Frederic Gottrand, Elisabetta Toti, Sonia Gomez-Martínez, Evangelia Grammatikaki, Idoia Labayen, Luis A. Moreno, Michael Sjöström, John Van Camp, Romana Roccaldo, Emma PattersonYannis Manios, Denes Molnar, Anthony Kafatos, Kurt Widhalm, Stefaan De Henauw

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate total, energy-adjusted dietary fiber (DF), water-soluble fiber (WSF), and water-insoluble fiber (WIF) intakes in European adolescents and to investigate their association with indicators of adiposity and serum biomarkers. Methods: This study, conducted from 2006 to 2007, included 1804 adolescents aged 12.5–17.5 years (47 % males) from eight European cities completing two non-consecutive computerized 24-h dietary recalls. GLM multivariate analysis was used to investigate associations. Results: Mean DF intake (20 g/day) of the sample met the European Food Safety Authority recommendation, but was below those of the World Health Organization and of the Institute of Medicine. Total DF, WSF and WIF intakes were higher in males (P < 0.001), but following energy-adjustments significantly higher intakes were observed among females (P < 0.001). Bread and cereals contributed most to total DF, WSF and WIF intakes, followed by potatoes and grains, energy-dense but low-nutritious foods, fruits and vegetables. Moreover, energy-adjusted WSF and WIF were positively associated with body fat percentage (BF%), waist to height ratio and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, while energy-adjusted WSF was inversely associated with serum fasting glucose (β = −0. 010, P = 0.020). Conclusion: Total DF intakes are rather low in European adolescents. An inverse association with serum fasting glucose might indicate a possible beneficial role of DF in preventing insulin resistance and its concomitant diseases, even though DF intakes were positively associated with adolescents’ BF%. Therefore, further longitudinal studies should elaborate on these potential beneficial effects of DF intake in the prevention of obesity and related chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-782
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiposity
  • Adolescence
  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary fiber
  • HELENA study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary fiber intake and its association with indicators of adiposity and serum biomarkers in European adolescents: the HELENA study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this