Study shows eating whole grains reduces obesity risk

by Jeff Gelski
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ZEIST, THE NETHERLANDS — Whole grain consumption may protect against becoming overweight or obese, according to a study performed in The Netherlands and reported on-line in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The cross-sectional design of the study, however, does not allow conclusions about the causality of the association.

The study sought to assess the association of whole grain and cereal fiber intake with body mass index (B.M.I.) and with the risk of being overweight, with a B.M.I. over 25, or obese, with a B.M.I. of over 30. The study involved 2,078 men and 2,159 women aged 55 to 69.

For men, the risk of being overweight as compared to normal weight was 10% lower for each additional gram of (dry) grain consumption in men. For women, the risk was 4%. Fiber and cereal intake were associated inversely with B.M.I. in men only.

Research took place at the Department of Food and Chemical Risk Analysis, TNO Quality of Life, Zeist, and at the Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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