Assessment of Intakes and Patterns of Cooked Oatmeal Consumption in the U.S. Using Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys

1. Introduction

Oatmeal is a common whole-grain cereal that is rich in β-glucan, a soluble fiber that has multiple functional and bioactive properties. The consumption of oat β-glucan has been associated with reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol [1,2] and postprandial glucose and insulin levels [3], as well as improvements in subjective measures of appetite [4]. In a study of children aged 2–18 years who had participated in the 2001–2010 United States (U.S.) National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), those who were oatmeal consumers had better overall diet quality and reduced risks of central adiposity and obesity compared with children who were non-consumers of oatmeal [5]. Likewise, in a study of adults aged 19 years or older who had participated in the 2001–2010 U.S. NHANES, those who were oatmeal consumers had better overall diet quality and lower body weights, waist circumferences, and body mass indices (BMIs) compared with adults who were non-consumers of oatmeal [6]. Therefore, promoting oatmeal consumption may help improve health, and understanding patterns of oatmeal consumption in the U.S. according to age, gender, and BMI can help target those individuals who may benefit from the incorporation of oatmeal into the diet.

In addition to increasing the dietary fiber content of the diet and improving satiety, the consumption of oatmeal may result in a reduction in the energy density of the overall diet which, in turn, may be useful in the management of body weight. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has established adequate intake (AI) levels for dietary fiber for the various age and gender groups. Accordingly, the recommended intakes for dietary fiber are 19 to 25 g/day for children ages 1–8 years, 26–38 g/day for children and adolescents aged 9–18 years, and 21–38 g/day for adults aged 19 years or older [7]. Despite these recommendations, the consumption of dietary fiber is notably low in the U.S. Based on data from the 2001–2010 NHANES, McGill et al. [8] reported that the mean intakes of dietary fiber were 13.2, 16.1, and 16.1 g/day in children and adolescents aged 4–18 years, adults aged 19–50 years, and adults 51 years of age and older, respectively. These intakes are approximately half of the intakes that are recommended by the IOM and that are endorsed in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans [9].

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In an analysis of the 2009–2010 NHANES data, it was demonstrated that whole-grain cereal was the greatest contributor to dietary fiber intake among individuals with the highest intake of whole grains and that individuals who consumed at least three ounces of whole grains per day were approximately 60–75 times more likely to be in the top tertile of fiber consumption [10]. Therefore, encouraging the consumption of whole-grain cereals may help individuals reach an adequate daily intake of dietary fiber [7].

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In the present study, intakes of cooked oatmeal using Day 1 of the 2009–2010 and 2011–2012 NHANES were analyzed to investigate trends in the consumption of cooked oatmeal according to age, gender, and BMI. In addition, a longitudinal analysis was performed by comparing trends in oatmeal consumption, using data from the previous five NHANES cycles (2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2007–2008, 2009–2010, and 2011–2012). Cooked oatmeal is expected to induce a greater viscosity in the upper gastrointestinal system than other oat-based products; thus, the intake of cooked oatmeal, in particular, was of interest, and not the intake of oats used in other applications, such as in muffins, breakfast bars, granola, etc.



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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.