Increasing fibre intake in the UK: Lessons from the Danish Whole Grain Partnership

N.B. Boyle, K. Adolphus , S. Caton , F. Croden , L. Dye , A. Glass , K. Halliwell , G. L. Hansen , L. Holm , P. Jackson , F. Makinwa , B. Stærk and N. Wilkinson
British Journal of Nutrition
Resource type:
Peer review

Diets deficient in fibre are reported globally. The associated health risks of insufficient dietary fibre are sufficiently grave to necessitate large-scale interventions to increase population intake levels. The Danish Whole Grain Partnership (DWP) is a public-private enterprise model that successfully augmented whole-grain intake in the Danish population. The potential transferability of the DWP model to Slovenia, Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina has recently been explored. Here we outline the feasibility of adopting the approach in the UK. Drawing on the collaborative experience of DWP partners, academics from the Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People (H3) project, and food industry representatives (Food and Drink Federation), this paper examines the transferability of the DWP approach to increase whole grain and/or fibre intake in the UK. Specific consideration is given to the UK’s political, regulatory and socio-economic context. We note key political, regulatory, social and cultural challenges to transferring the success of DWP to the UK, highlighting the particular challenge of increasing fibre consumption among low socio-economic status groups - which were also most resistant to interventions in Denmark. Wholesale transfer of the DWP model to the UK is considered unlikely given the absence of the key ‘success factors’ present in Denmark. However, the DWP provides a template against which a UK-centric approach can be developed. In the absence of a clear regulatory context for whole grain in the UK, fibre should be prioritised and public-private partnerships supported to increase the availability and acceptability of fibre-rich foods.