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J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Aug;103(8):1015-9.

Dietary intake and food sources of whole grains among US children and adolescents: data from the 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1800 S 2nd Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015, USA.



This study characterizes whole grain consumption among a nationally representative sample of US children and adolescents.


Data used in this study were collected as part of the 1994-1996 US Department of Agriculture Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII).


CSFII was designed to obtain a nationally representative sample of noninstitutionalized persons of all ages residing in the United States. Analyses reported in this article are limited to participants aged 2 to 18 years with two days of dietary recall data (n=4,802). Foods reported in the survey were quantified in servings as defined by the Food Guide Pyramid using the US Department of Agriculture Pyramid Servings Database, which contains reference data for each food reported in CSFII in servings per 100 g for 30 Pyramid food groups, including whole grain and total grain.


Means, frequencies, and logistic regression analyses were conducted as appropriate.


Average whole grain intake ranged from 0.8 servings per day for preschool-aged children to 1.0 servings per day for adolescents. Ready-to-eat cereals, corn and other chips, and yeast breads were found to be the major food sources of whole grains accounting for 30.9%, 21.7%, and 18.1% of whole grain intake respectively among those aged two to 18 years.


Given the apparent low level of whole grain intake among most children and adolescents in the United States, interventions are needed to increase intake of whole-grain foods.

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