The U.S. Department of Agriculture 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals was used to estimate the intake of naturally occurring inulin and oligofructose by the U.S. population. Two nonconsecutive 24-h dietary recalls from >15,000 Americans of all ages were conducted, and a special database of inulin and oligofructose was developed specifically for the analyses. American diets provided on average 2.6 g of inulin and 2.5 g of oligofructose. Intakes varied by gender and age, ranging from 1.3 g for young children to 3.5 g for teenage boys and adult males. When standardized for amount of food consumed, the intakes showed little difference across gender and age. Significant differences in intake of these components were seen between categories within region of the country, season, income, and race and origin; however, the actual differences were relatively small. Major food sources of naturally occurring inulin and oligofructose in American diets were wheat, which provided about 70% of these components, and onions, which provided about 25% of these components. The estimation of the presence of inulin and oligofructose in the diets of Americans has not been published to date.