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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 May;108(5):853-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.02.018.

Popcorn consumption and dietary and physiological parameters of US children and adults: analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002 dietary survey data.

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The Center for Human Nutrition, 505 Durham Research Plaza, Omaha, NE 68105, USA. <>


Popcorn is a whole-grain food/snack that is included among foods recommended in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid to increase whole-grain consumption. The purpose of the present study was to use 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 24-hour dietary recall data to determine the average popcorn intake among Americans, and whether popcorn consumers exhibited different dietary intake patterns or physiological biomarkers of cardiovascular disease compared with popcorn non-consumers. Mean intake among consumers of popcorn was 38.8 g/day. Compared with non-consumers, popcorn consumers had approximately 250% higher (P<0.01) intake of whole grains (2.5 vs 0.70 servings/day) and approximately 22% higher (P<0.01) intake of fiber (18.1 vs 14.9 g/day). Small but significant differences (P<0.01) were also observed for intake of carbohydrate, magnesium (higher intake in popcorn consumers), protein, niacin, and folate (lower intake in popcorn consumers). In addition, popcorn consumers had a greater (P<0.01) intake of total grains and consumed fewer meat servings. Popcorn consumption was associated with increased intake of whole grains, dietary fiber, and certain other nutrients.

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