Strong, research-based evidence indicates the consumption of whole grains lowers the risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers, along with aiding weight regulation. Consequently, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) placed an increased emphasis on whole grains in the American diet. It is recommended that at least one-half of the grains in a daily diet, or approximately 3 one-ounce servings, should be whole grain. The hypothesis of this research was that students eating in campus dining centers do not meet this recommendation, making intervention necessary. Subjects (n=205) were self-selected diners at Selleck Dining Center on the University of Nebraska – Lincoln campus. Participants completed a one-page survey addressing attitude toward, consumption level of, knowledge of, and preferences for whole grain products. Results indicated a total of 86% of students reported eating whole grains, however, only 36% of those students reported average consumption levels at or above the recommended 3 ounces per day. Knowledge questions indicated that those participants reporting 3 or more servings of whole grain per day did not have a clear understanding of how to identify whole grains thus indicating their reported intakes were likely overestimated. Campus dining centers have the opportunity to be pivotal in increasing whole grain consumption among their users. Suggested appropriate intervention by dining center staff includes education on whole grain benefits, placement of identifiable markers for whole grain products, and offering a wider selection of whole grain products.
Bisanz, Kimberly J. and Stanek Krogstrand, Kaye L.
"Consumption & Attitudes about Whole Grain Foods of UNL Students Who Dine in a Campus Cafeteria,"
RURALS: Review of Undergraduate Research in Agricultural and Life Sciences: Vol. 2
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/rurals/vol2/iss1/1