General Question

Spargett's avatar

Why are senior products (55+) so damn obsessed with fiber?

Asked by Spargett (5395points) May 27th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

25 Answers

breedmitch's avatar


AstroChuck's avatar

Constipation and old age go hand in hand. Fiber helps with irregularity.

shilolo's avatar

Yes, the purpose is to prevent development of constipation, which can be very uncomfortable, and, difficult to treat once it happens. When constipation gets really bad, it becomes (one of my favorite words) obstipation.

marinelife's avatar

And to paraphrase the musical Hair “Obstipation can’t be fun.”

Les's avatar

Personally, I think us young ‘uns should be more concerned with fiber. Constipation is no fun…

skfinkel's avatar

I thought you were talking about material: like linen or pure cotton. And I thought, well, older people may really appreciate good quality of clothes. I know I do. Give me pure cotton, silk, linen, and wool any old day.

gailcalled's avatar

@Spargett; perhaps you are lucky enough to have found the Fountain of Youth and therefore will never age, nor will your GI tract.

Spargett's avatar


I never said I was better than anyone. I was just curios as to why every digestible product aimed at seniors had “FIBER” branded all over the packaging.

I always assumed that Fluther was for that sort of thing. I could be wrong though.

gailcalled's avatar

@Sparg: It was the irritated tone of your question….“so damn obsessed with fiber” that rankled. And I never said that you were better than anyone. And not every digestible product aimed at seniors has FIBER branded all over the package.

If you had simply asked out of curiousity, as you did so nicely (see above), I wouldn’t have gotten my dander up..Aging brings a lot of discomfort, sadly, and of course, the ultimate discomfort.

Tantigirl's avatar

I’ve been wondering about the fiber thing too. I always wonder why they don’t just eat foods that naturally contain fiber, like fruit and veggies. Is it because they don’t get enough fiber from eating these foods and so they need suppliments, or is it because they just don’t eat them at all?

I’m also not sure that it is the seniors that are so obsessed with it, I think it is the companies who manufacture the suppliments who are trying to create a market. I think money making is the name of the game really.

gailcalled's avatar

The muscles that cause peristalsis can get tired as one ages. Meds and supplements like Calcium can also cause mild constipation. Plenty of seniors eat tons of fruits and vegetables and still need some extra fiber..

Companies are not creating a marke for fibert; customers’ needs are. There are herbal teas (Smooth Move), senna tabs that give things a little push and disovable fiber like Metamusil, that, drunk with 8 oz. of water also help. So does oat bran..

I repeat what I said above; “Aging brings a lot of discomfort, sadly, and of course, the ultimate discomfort.”

Tantigirl's avatar

@Gail – That is what I was wondering, about the need for further suppliments even though they may be eating the good foods. I guess this is a drawback to age and wisdom.

gailcalled's avatar

Most women at some point in the aging process, start losing calcium. RX meds like Fosamax and Actonel slow down the process, as do Calcium (w. magnesium and D3) supps. They cause constipation. I am sure that there are many other drugs that do…for heart, diabetes, clogged arteries, macular degeneration, etc. Regular exercise and dark green vegetables help, but we live much longer than we used to.

My 93 year old mother makes me feel like a spring chicken. But, still…...

That’s “disolvable fiber). Too late to edit.

AstroChuck's avatar

Many elderly have died trying to have a bowel movement. Not a joke. The strain of trying to pass a BM while constipated is a major cause of heart attacks among the elderly. Not the most dignified way to go.
I’m sure Shilolo could back me on this.

gailcalled's avatar

AC: True. Hence the need for extra fiber or senna

I hope it’s OK to tell the collective that your 80 yr old father just went parasailing.He’s obviously doing something right.

Darwin's avatar

In addition, as one ages one eats less and less as one’s metabolism slows down. Thus, the total amount of fiber consumed declines simply because ya don’t eat enough food in total.

Judi's avatar

Also, lack of fiber means stuff hangs out in the colon and colon cancer becomes a worry after age 50. They think that a high fiber diet can help prevent colon cancer.

tocutetolive90's avatar

for older people its good to have high fiber and low calories it helps regulate the body and its the weight off and the body strong. that’s atleast what my medical teacher said

much2smile4's avatar

I agree with AstroChuck..

That’s how my great grandma and elvis died..

It can increase the risk strokes heart attacks and aneurysms if elderly people are constipated because if they strain to hard trying to get it out, it increases the chances of something bursting that shouldn’t..

So in my opinion they take the fibre to help with less straining…

imhellokitty's avatar

I think some older people are a little too “fiber aware”. A guy in my office, pushing 65, on a daily basis he talks about the frequency, ability, inability, consistency and contents of his business. And he doesn’t care if you tell him your not interested, he just goes on and on, and on…..

Judi's avatar

@imhellokitty ; How funny is that! I had a friend who was a live in nanny for a couple on the north slope of alaska. Imagine her surprise when she realized that it was her job to keep track of the childrens BM’s on a chart. The whole family had a chart. She was stuck there fro an entire school year!

imhellokitty's avatar

@Judi – poor girl! This guy at work, Friday he told at least seven people about the fact that he started the “acui berry total body clense”. Who wants to know?!?!?!

Aster's avatar

@much2smile4 Elvis died from constipation?? I thought he overdosed.

Strauss's avatar

A bowl of oatmeal a day keeps me heart healthy and regular!

codiene22's avatar

a lot of us on painkillers or some type of muscle relaxant and they make you constipated !

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