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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: Whole-grain consumption is associated with diet quality and nutrient intake in adults: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004

Authors
item O'Neil, Carol -
item Nicklas, Theresa -
item Zanovec, Michael -
item Cho, Susan -

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 19, 2010
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Citation: O'Neil, C.E., Nicklas, T.A., Zanovec, M., Cho, S. 2010. Whole-grain consumption is associated with diet quality and nutrient intake in adults: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association. 110:1461-1468.

Interpretive Summary: Overall consumption of whole grains in the population remains low using a recently updated definition; however, diet quality and nutrient profiles could be improved with greater consumption of whole grains. Whole-grain consumption should be encouraged by health professionals, especially registered dietitians. Nutrition education programs that increase awareness, health benefits, and consumption of whole grains should be designed. Future research needs include quantifying the effect that whole-grain consumption has on diet quality in children, and assessing the effect that whole-grain consumption has on health status.

Technical Abstract: The consumption of whole grains and its association with nutrient intake has not been assessed in a recent nationally representative population. The objective was to examine the association of consumption of whole grains, using the new whole-grain definition, with diet quality and nutrient intake in a recent, nationally representative sample of adults. The design used was secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Adults aged 19 to 50 years (n = 7,039) and aged 51 years and older (n = 6,237). The participants were divided into four whole-grain consumption groups: less than or equal to 0 to less than 0.6, greater than or equal to 0.6 to less than 1.5, greater than or equal to 1.5 to less than 3.0, and greater than or equal to 3.0 servings (ounce equivalents)/day. Macro- and micronutrient intakes and diet quality, using the Healthy Eating Index, were determined for each group. Sample weights were applied. The percentages of adults in whole-grain consumption groups were calculated. The covariates used were energy, ethnicity, sex, and age. Least-square means were calculated. P for linear trend analysis was determined using whole-grain intake as a linear covariate. A P value of less than or equal to 0.05 was considered significant. The findings resulted in adults aged 19 to 50 and 51+ years consumed a mean of 0.63 and 0.77 servings of whole grains per day, respectively. For both age groups, diet quality and intake of energy, fiber, and polyunsaturated fatty acids were significantly higher in those consuming the most servings of whole grains. Intake of total sugars (19 to 50 year age group only), added sugars, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and cholesterol was significantly lower in those consuming the most servings of whole grains. Intake of all micronutrients, except vitamin B-12 and sodium, was higher among individuals who consumed the most servings of whole grains. In conclusion, overall consumption of whole grains in the US population was low using the recently updated whole grain definition. Adults who consumed the most servings of whole grains had better diet quality and nutrient intakes.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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