BONN, GERMANY — Whole grain intake increased for consumers given nutrition information on whole grains in a study from the University of Bonn, but more efforts, such as increasing the visibility of whole grain products at supermarkets, will be needed to increase whole grain consumption to the recommend level, the study’s authors said.

The 14-day study involving 329 consumers of the ages 18 to 39 appeared online May 16 in the periodical Appetite.

The consumers were divided into four groups with one group receiving daily emails containing health-related information such as “incorporating whole grains into your daily diet diminishes the likelihood of experiencing a stroke.”  A second group received daily emails with recipe recommendations for whole grains. A third group received daily emails for both health-related information and recipes. The fourth group, the control group, received daily messages on fruits and vegetables.

All participants at the beginning of the study were asked about the frequency of their whole grain consumption ranging from 1 (not consumed at all in the past 14 days) to 7 (consumed 11 to 14 times over the past 14 days). After 14 days, the participants were asked again about the frequency of their whole grain consumption. The average score for the group receiving health information changed to 3.04 after 14 days from 2.84 at the beginning. The average score for the group receiving recipes did not change significantly.

Besides increasing whole grain visibility at supermarkets, the researchers said that food manufacturers could develop new whole grain recipes and that restaurants, including fast-food chains, could promote items like pizzas with whole grain crusts and buns made from whole grain flour.