Study finds whole grain confusion spans the globe

by Jeff Gelski
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Whole grain cereal
People say they want whole grains, but they need more education on the subject.
 

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND — Globally, people say they want whole grains, but they need more education on the subject, too, according to a study commissioned by Cereal Partners Worldwide that was released Nov. 13. The study, which involved 16,173 adults from 11 countries, found 82% of respondents said they think it is important to eat whole grains, but 83% said they do not know how many grams of whole grains they should eat daily.

People also were confused about sources of whole grains. In fact, 10% incorrectly said bananas contain whole grains. Other people incorrectly thought seeds (28% of respondents) and nuts (21%) contain whole grains. The various health benefits of whole grains were not fully understood either. While 65% said whole grains can be high in fiber and 64% said whole grains can be good for digestion, 48% said they are good for the heart and 18% said whole grains reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

Forty-seven per cent said they think they eat enough whole grains. The U.S. government recommends people consume at least 48 grams of whole grains daily. The level is higher in Denmark, where the government recommends at least 64 to 75 grams per day.

David Homer, Cereal Partners Worldwide
David Homer, president and c.e.o. of Cereal Partners Worldwide

“We see an opportunity for governments, academics and industry to back a global commitment to help inform people about whole grain and to increase the availability of whole grain foods,” said David Homer, president and chief executive officer of Lausanne-based Cereal Partners Worldwide. “The first step on this journey is to agree to a set of global guidelines for recommended daily whole grain intake.”

The study was released ahead of the International Whole Grains Summit, which is taking place Nov. 13-15 in Vienna. Cereal Partners Worldwide, a partnership between Nestle S.A. and General Mills, Inc., commissioned Censuswide, an independent research company, to conduct the on-line study. Censuswide in October contacted people from Colombia, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. 
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