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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Relationship between whole grain and fiber consumption and body weight measures among 6 to 18 year-olds

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

Submitted to: Journal of Pediatrics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2010
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Citation: Zanovec, M., O'Neil, C.E., Cho, S.S., Kleinman, R.E., Nicklas, T. 2010. Relationship between whole grain and fiber consumption and body weight measures among 6 to 18 year-olds. Journal of Pediatrics. 157(4):578-583.

Interpretive Summary: The relationship between whole grain and fiber consumption and weight in children and adolescents is unknown. In this study, we found that several body weight variables were associated with whole grain intakes in adolescents, but not children. When adjusting for cereal fiber, only BMI was associated with whole grain intake. More studies are needed to separate the independent effects of whole grains and fiber on health. Data from this study suggests that cereal fiber is an important component of whole grains and may be more important for weight and adiposity measures than whole grains alone. Further research is needed, including randomized controlled intervention trials and school-based interventions looking at whole grains, fiber, and weight in children and adolescents.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between whole grain and fiber consumption, and body weight measures in children 6 to 12 (n equals 3868) and adolescents 13 to 18 (n equals 4931) years old. A combined 1999 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data were analyzed. Mean body mass index (BMI), BMI percentile, BMI z-score, waist circumference, and prevalence of overweight/obesity were compared across categories of whole grain consumption (0 to less than 0.6, greater or equal to 0.6 to less than 1.5, greater or equal to 1.5 to less than 3, and greater or equal to 3 servings) with (1) a sex, ethnicity, and total energy intake–adjusted model and (2) a cereal fiber plus model 1 covariates profile. Our results showed that mean whole grain intake was 0.59 and 0.63 servings/d among children 6 to 12 years and adolescents 13 to 18 years, respectively. In children, consumption of $3 servings of whole grain was not associated with body weight measures; however, consumption of 1.5 to less than 3 servings was positively associated with all weight measures. In adolescents, BMI z-score was significantly lower in the highest whole grain consumption group compared with the lowest 2 groups; BMI percentile and waist circumference (model 1 only) were also significantly lower in the highest whole grain consumption group. From this study, we concluded that the overall consumption of whole grain was below current recommendations of at least 3 servings per day. Only in adolescents was this level of whole grain intake associated with lower BMI z-scores.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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