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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: Consumption of whole grains is associated with improved diet quality and nutrient intake in children and adolescents: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2004

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

Submitted to: Public Health Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 14, 2010
Publication Date: October 6, 2010
Citation: O'Neil, C.E., Nicklas, T.A., Zanovec, M., Cho, S.S., Kleinman, R. 2010. Consumption of whole grains is associated with improved diet quality and nutrient intake in children and adolescents: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2004. Public Health Nutrition. 14(2):347-355.

Interpretive Summary: A lack of recent studies exist using nationally representative data looking at the consumption of whole grain (WG) or the relationship of WG consumption with diet quality and nutrient intake of children and adolescents. Our study showed that overall consumption of whole grain in children and adolescents was low; however, diet quality and nutrient intake were significantly improved with increasing consumption of whole grain. Intakes of many macro- and micronutrients also improved with increased consumption of whole grain. Whole grain consumption for children, adolescents and their parents should be encouraged by health professionals, especially registered dietitians.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the association of consumption of whole grains (WG) with diet quality and nutrient intake in children and adolescents by a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data. The 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used to study children aged 2-5 years (n = 2278) and 6-12 years (n = 3868) and adolescents aged 13-18 years (n = 4931). The participants were divided into four WG consumption groups: greater or less than 0 to less than 0.6, greater or less than 0.6 to less than 1.5, greater or less than 1.5 to less than 3.0 and greater or less than 3.0 servings per day. Nutrient intake and diet quality, using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005, were determined for each group from a single 24 hour dietary recall. The mean number of servings of WG consumed was 0.45, 0.59 and 0.63 for children/adolescents at the age of 2-5, 6-12 and 13-18 years, respectively. In all groups, HEI and intakes of energy, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and iron were significantly higher in those consuming greater or less than 3.0 servings of WG/d; intakes of protein, total fat, saturated fatty acid and monounsaturated fatty acid and cholesterol levels were lower. Intakes of PUFA (6-12 years), vitamins B1 (2-5 and 13-18 years), B2 (13-18 years), A (2-5 and 13-18 years) and E (13-18 years) were higher in those groups consuming greater or less than 3.0 servings of WG per day; intakes of added sugars (2-5 years), vitamin C (2-5 and 6-12 years), potassium and sodium (6-12 years) were lower. Overall consumption of WG was low. Children and adolescents who consumed the most servings of WG had better diet quality and nutrient intake.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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