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Moral Fiber: Some Manufacturers Abusing Fiber Labels

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Moral Fiber: Some Manufacturers Abusing Fiber Labels

In an effort to appeal to a broader spectrum of health-conscious buyers, some food brands are taking advantage of fiber requirements to misrepresent products.

As NPR notes, a mere three grams of fiber is the minimum amount required to claim a product is a "good source of fiber" on product labels. Many Americans know that fiber is a part of a balanced breakfast, but most don't realize food manufacturers often add ingredients just to hit these requirements. Moreover, additives such as sugarcane fiber, oat fiber or cornstarch aren't necessarily even "good sources of fiber" to begin with.

"I don't want people to think that by adding things to unhealthy foods, it somehow makes them healthy," John Swartzberg, a professor of public health at the University of California, Berkley, told the news source. "And I think that's the most important message."

It's crucial for food manufacturers to think of the consumer when they develop their products. Adding ingredients to achieve these claims may look good on the packaging, but deceiving buyers is never a good strategy.