Whole Grain Intake Found Deficient in Young People

Research suggests those who eat fast foods are less likely to eat enough whole grains

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The mean daily consumption of whole grains by adolescents and young people is far below the recommended minimum of three servings a day, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Nicole I. Larson, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis used data from a population-based study in which 792 adolescents with a mean age of 17.2 years, and 1,686 young adults with a mean age of 20.5 years, completed surveys and food frequency questionnaires.

At 0.59 servings for males and 0.61 servings for females, mean daily intake of whole grains among adolescents was below the recommended amount, while young adults ate a similar amount at 0.68 servings for males and 0.58 servings for females, the researchers found. Those who preferred the taste of whole-grain bread and for whom it was available at home were more likely to eat whole grains, while consumption of fast food was associated with lower consumption of whole grains, the investigators note.

"To improve the availability of whole-grain breads and other products at home, parents as well as youth may need to be provided additional tools to help them identify and prepare whole-grain products," the authors write. "The observation of an inverse relationship between fast-food intake and whole-grain intake further suggests there is a need to improve the availability of whole-grain products in restaurants."

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