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Title: A simulation study of the potential effects of whole grain food substitutions on diet quality in Lower Mississippi Delta adults

item Thomson, Jessica
item Tussing Humphreys, Lisa

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2013
Publication Date: 10/8/2013
Citation: Thomson, J.L., Tussing Humphreys, L.M. 2013. A simulation study of the potential effects of whole grain food substitutions on diet quality in Lower Mississippi Delta adults. Symposium Proceedings. Whole Grain Summit 2012. 47-48.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The majority of US adult diets do not meet recommendations for consumption of whole grains, putting these individuals at increased risk for chronic diseases. Poor diet quality, inadequate consumption of whole grains, and chronic diseases are particularly prevalent in the impoverished rural South. In this study, simulation modeling was used to determine the effects of substituting familiar, more healthful, whole grain foods for less healthy, refined grain ones on diet quality and total energy intake in Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) adults. Dietary data collected in 2000 for 1,689 LMD adults who participated in the Foods of Our Delta Study were analyzed. The Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) was used to measure diet quality. The effects of substituting targeted refined grain foods with more healthful whole grain items on diet quality were simulated by replacing the targeted items’ nutrient profile with their replacements’ profile. For refined grain products including white bread, spaghetti, and rice, 100% replacement of these items with their whole grain counterparts resulted in 1.9- and 2.5- point improvements in HEI-2005 total and whole grain component scores. While these improvements are encouraging, more work is needed to increase the availability, acceptance, and consumption of whole grain foods not only in the US overall, but particularly in health disparate populations. Simulation analyses are an economical approach to modeling the impact of replacing more healthful formulations of commonly consumed foods, including those containing whole grains, on overall nutrient intake and diet quality for a given population. Further, such simulations can help determine which replacements have the potential to provide the greatest health benefit. This information can be used to guide intervention efforts and the development of new food products or the reformulation of existing products in order to improve the health of all Americans, particularly those with the poorest diet quality.