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Grain industry addresses 2015 DGAC

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) heard comments on behalf of the Grain Chain, an industry collaboration of 10 organizations representing grain producers, millers, bakers and allied manufacturers, on Jan 14 in Washington, DC. Joanne Slavin, R.D., Ph.D., a registered dietitian and professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Food and Nutrition, Minneapolis, commented on the nutritional value of grain and endorsed the extension of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, which recommend Americans consume six servings of grain foods daily, at least half of which are 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,” Slavin told the committee. “Both play an important, positive role in the American diet.”

According to a press release issued by the American Bakers Association (ABA), the Grain Chain supports the DGAC’s commitment to making dietary recommendations 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, with 466 whole-grain product introductions in 2010.

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

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

• In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

• Multiple cross?sectional studies have shown that increased whole-grain consumption is positively associated with reduced body mass index (BMI).

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

The Grain Chain represents the 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.

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