A new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reveals several obstacles preventing young people from reaching the recommended whole grain intake of three servings per day.
According to Project EAT (Eating Among Teens), adolescents only consume about 0.6 to 0.7 portions of whole grain foods a day. To uncover the reasons behind the low numbers, researchers studied data from 792 teenagers with a mean age of 17.2 and 1,686 young adults with a mean age of 20.5.
Several factors emerged, including lack of access to whole grain foods, flavor preference for non-whole grain foods and frequent consumption of fast food, which contains a low amount of whole grains.
The authors of the study wrote: “The findings suggest nutritional interventions should address the availability of whole grain foods in homes and restaurants. In addition, young people should be provided with opportunities to taste a variety of whole grain foods to enhance taste preferences and self-efficacy to consume whole grain products.”