Abstract| Volume 51, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT , S54-S55, July 2019

P50 Whole Grain Intake is Low Among Ethnically Diverse, Low-Income Youth in California

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      Many low-income youth are burdened by food insecurity, unhealthy dietary patterns, and obesity. Whole grain consumption is associated with better diet quality, nutrient intake, and lower risk of obesity. Research indicates modest gains in whole grain intake among high-income adolescents in the US but no gains observed in low-income adolescents.


      Explore whole grain intake of low-income, ethnically diverse youth (10-18 years) in California to identify potential behaviors to target for intervention development.

      Study Design, Settings, Participants

      Random sample of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-eligible (130% of FPL) households with children across 30 California counties. Youth age 10 to 18 years of age (n = 2,231) completed an interviewer administered 24-hour dietary recall (ASA24) in English or Spanish in 2016.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Intake of whole grains was compared to recommendations, gender, ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI). Means were analyzed using independent sample t-tests and ANOVA (with Tukey's HSD).


      Youth participating in the study were 13.7 ± 2.3 years old (51% female) and ethnically diverse (71% Latino). Forty percent were categorized as either overweight or obese. Males consumed 0.95 ± 1.4 ounce equivalents (oz. eq.) of whole grains per day and females consumed 0.72 ± 1.0 oz. eq. (P < .001). The overall percentage of grains that were whole grains (14% male and 13% female), did not meet recommended level of at least 50%. Most whole grain items were from a grocery store and very few from school cafeteria (< 1%). Whole grain intake significantly differed among ethnic group categories (P < .05) with highest consumption among African Americans (0.98 ± 1.6 oz. eq.) and lowest in Latinos (0.79 ± 1.1 oz. eq.). Whole grain intake for obese youth was lower than those in the normal weight category (0.70 ± 1.1 vs. 0.88 ± 1.3 oz. eq., P = .041).


      Low-income youth in this sample are burdened by overweight/obesity and are far below the whole grain recommendations. Intervention is needed targeting whole grain consumption that is appropriate for ethnically diverse youth in low-income communities such as making more whole grain rich options available in school.