Whole grain in children's diet: intake, food sources and trends

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Objective:To quantify the intake of grain and whole grain, and their food sources, as well as to investigate the age and time trends over the last decade in a sample of German children and adolescents.Methods:Dietary records from the Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed (DONALD) Study were used for conducting this work. A total of 5067 3-day weighed dietary records of 821 2- to 18-year-old children and adolescents collected between 1997 and 2008 were analysed using linear mixed-effect models, in which the means of the data and the covariance structure (children of the family, repeated measurements) were modelled.Results:Mean whole-grain intake was between 20 and 33 g/day in the sample and highest in 13–18 year olds. No whole grain intake was recorded in 19% of all dietary records. Total grain intake increased significantly with age (P<0.0001), even after adjustment for energy intake. Whole-grain intake (g/day) increased significantly with age in the unadjusted model (P<0.0001). This increase disappeared after adjustment for energy intake (P>0.05) and became a negative trend after adjustment for grain intake (P<0.01). There were no significant time trends during the study period. Bread had the highest effect on grain intake in the total sample (50%), followed by rice/pasta (21%), cake (13%), grain (9%), RTECs (5%) and muesli (2%).Conclusions:The whole-grain intake in this sample of German children and adolescents was far below the FBDG. The decreasing percentage of whole grain per grain intake with age contradicts the common concept of stable dietary habits during childhood and adolescents.

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