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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Weighing in on whole grains: A review of evidence linking whole grains to body weight

item Mckeown, Nicola
item Hruby, Adela
item Saltzman, Edward
item Choumenkovitch, Silvina Furlong
item Jacques, Paul

Submitted to: Cereal Foods World
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2012
Publication Date: 1/20/2012
Citation: Mckeown, N., Hruby, A., Saltzman, E., Choumenkovitch, S., Jacques, P. 2012. Weighing in on whole grains: A review of evidence linking whole grains to body weight. Cereal Foods World. 57(1):20-27.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: U.S. dietary guidelines support the consumption of whole grains in lieu of refined grains. On January 31, 2011, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) were released and the recommendations with respect to grains were for individuals to “Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains” and “Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.” Whole grains are an important source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals, components which are thought to play roles in maintaining and improving health, including body weight, which is among the top public health and individual health concerns in America. To date, few prospective observational studies have examined the relationship between whole-grain intake and development of obesity, but those studies point to inverse relationships between whole-grain intake and body weight or prospective weight gain. A small number of intervention studies have examined the effects of whole grains on body weight and adiposity, but the results of these studies are mixed: they tend to report no changes in body weight. Further research is needed on the effect of whole-grains, as defined by the FDA definition of whole grains, on body fat distribution.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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