Few Americans eat enough grains: Survey

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Only four percent of Americans are getting their recommended six servings of grains a day, according to a survey from Harris Interactive commissioned by the Grain Foods Foundation (GFF).

The survey found that average daily grain consumption, among a nationally representative sample of 2,106 US adults, was 3.2 servings, although 98 percent of respondents said they consumed at least one a day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least six servings of grains, of which at least three should be whole. Previous research from market research organization The NPD Group looked specifically at whole grain consumption and found that while consumption had increased 20 percent since 2005, whole grains still only make up 11 percent of the total grains consumed.

Now, the Grain Foods Foundation has launched an initiative to try and educate people about ways that they can get their six a day, as recommended by dietary guidelines. The organization has enlisted health expert Bob Harper, who appears on television’s The Biggest Loser,​ for the campaign, which it has called ‘Daily 6’.

It aims to explain how people can incorporate grains into their diets in “an easy and stress-free way”.

“Grain foods are healthy, convenient and affordable,”​ said president of the Grain Foods Foundation Judi Adams. “Many of us are eating grains throughout the day and not realizing it – pretzels, snack mix, bagels, rice and tortillas all count toward our Daily 6.”

GFF pointed out that getting six portions of grain each day is “as easy as having cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and a cup of pasta with dinner.”

In addition, the Harris Interactive survey looked at consumer preferences for different ways to consume grains. More than half of respondents (53 percent) said they “love eating bread”​ and 45 percent said they eat bread “almost every day.”

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