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UNF nutrition faculty publishes study showing increased need for whole grain diet offerings

Dr. Kristen Roof, University of North Florida nutrition and dietetics associate professor and registered dietitian, recently published results of her study on whole grain diet options showing a need for policy makers and food manufacturers to better support whole-grain recommendations in product offerings.

The study explores long-term change in measured whole grains within food products, Whole Grain Stamp usage, and the prominence of whole grain ingredients and product categories across the United States and Latin America. Roof utilized information from 2007 to 2020 found in the Oldways WGC Stamped Product Database. The database is a voluntary third-party product certification program that helps consumers quantify whole grain intake.

The study found that mean whole grains increased from 19 grams to 25.8 grams per serving in the U.S. and 18.1 grams to 31.9 grams per serving in Latin America. Whole Grain Stamp usage worldwide has increased from 250 products in 2005 to more than 13,000 products in 2020.

The results indicate there has been a stark increase in whole grain makeup of stamped products, as well as an increase in products that are registered to use the Whole Grain Stamp. These promising results suggest that manufacturers are prioritizing whole grains in food products and have begun to respond to worldwide whole grain deficits among consumers.

Nutrition programs and policies endorsing whole grain consumption can only be successful if whole grain products are readily available in the consumer marketplace. This study demonstrates that food manufacturers are increasing whole grain content and diverse utilization of food products and policy makers and food manufacturers must support and align with the need for increased whole grain product offerings.

Read “Boosting Whole-Grain Utilization in the Consumer Market: A Case Study of the Oldways Whole Grains Council’s Stamped Product Database,” in Nutrients, a peer-reviewed, open-access human nutrition journal.