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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

  • Carol E O’Neil (a1), Theresa A Nicklas (a2), Michael Zanovec (a1), Susan S Cho (a3) and Ronald Kleinman (a4)...

Abstract

Objective

To examine the association of consumption of whole grains (WG) with diet quality and nutrient intake in children and adolescents.

Design

Secondary analysis of cross-sectional data.

Setting

The 1999–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Subjects

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: ≥0 to <0·6, ≥0·6 to <1·5, ≥1·5 to <3·0 and ≥3·0 servings/d. Nutrient intake and diet quality, using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005, were determined for each group from a single 24 h dietary recall.

Results

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, fibre, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and iron were significantly higher in those consuming ≥3·0 servings of WG/d; intakes of protein, total fat, SFA and MUFA 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 ≥3·0 servings of WG/d; intakes of added sugars (2–5 years), vitamin C (2–5 and 6–12 years), potassium and sodium (6–12 years) were lower.

Conclusions

Overall consumption of WG was low. Children and adolescents who consumed the most servings of WG had better diet quality and nutrient intake.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email coneil1@lsu.edu

References

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