Grain News


Grain Industry Addresses 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Date Posted: January 14, 2014

Washington, DC—The nutritional value of grain foods was a key comment Jan. 14 before the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC).

The Committee heard comments on behalf of the grain industry from distinguished Professor and Registered Dietitian Joanne Slavin, RD, PhD, of the Department of Food and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota.

She made comments endorsing the extension of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines that recommend Americans consume six servings daily making at least half of all grain foods, whole grain.

“Whole grains are widely recognized for their health benefits, and enriched grains offer a unique nutritional package that has proven to reduce diseases and some birth defects. Both play an important positive role in the American diet,” says Slavin, a former 2010 DGAC member who testified on behalf of the grain industry coalition group, informally known as the Grain Chain.

The Grain Chain supports the DGAC’s commitment to making dietary recommendations that are grounded in sound science, and encourages the DGAC to continue to provide attainable and consistent goals to Americans that offer a meaningful impact on health.

Members of the Grain Chain and their constituencies are dedicated to helping Americans meet their nutritional goals for whole grain consumption.

In fact, the United States is the leader in whole grain product introductions having introduced 466 new whole grain products on the market in 2010 alone.

In addition, based on current scientific research, the Grain Chain emphasized in its statement that:

• Including a combination of both whole and enriched grain foods improves Americans’ intake of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin D and iron;

• In 2011, the CDC reported fortification of folic acid to enriched grains has resulted in a decrease in neural tube birth defects by 36% in the U.S. making it one of the top ten health achievements in the first decade of this century; and

• Multiple cross‐sectional studies have shown that increased whole grain consumption is positively associated with reduced BMI.

The Grain Chain is an industry collaboration representing 10 organizations that represent grain producers, millers, bakers and allied manufacturers, including the American Bakers Association (ABA), AIB International, Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), Grains for Health Foundation (GFH), Independent Bakers Association (IBA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), National Pasta Association (NPA), North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), The Wheat Foods Council (WFC), and USA Rice Federation.

To view a copy of the official oral statement, visit http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/.

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