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J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Nov;106(11):1856-60.

Beliefs about whole-grain foods by food and nutrition professionals, health club members, and special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children participants/State fair attendees.

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University of Minnesota, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Whole-grain foods are important components of healthful diets that may help prevent chronic diseases. Consumer beliefs that influence consumption of whole grains are poorly understood. This analysis surveyed three groups regarding their beliefs about whole-grain foods. The groups were food and nutrition professionals (n=103), health club members (n=103), and individuals representing various consumer segments of the general population, including participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and state fair attendees (n=68). Most respondents were aware of the term whole-grain foods, but less often reported that they use the term. Bread and cereal were most often named as examples of whole-grain foods. Lack of processing and use of the entire grain were the major reasons a food was perceived as being a whole-grain food. The major benefit of eating whole grains was reported to be fiber intake. Food and nutrition professionals provided more differentiated responses, whereas WIC/state fair participants had fewer and less elaborate responses. Assessing beliefs about whole grains offers insights to nutrition professionals for encouraging healthful food consumption.

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