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Public Health Nutr. 2011 Feb;14(2):347-55. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010002466. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

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.

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Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 261 Knapp Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.



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


Secondary analysis of cross-sectional data.


The 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.


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.


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.


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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