Grain Chain, Led By ABA, Testifies on Health Benefits of Enriched and Whole Grains

Washington, D.C. – The Grain Chain, a farm to table coalition of stakeholders in the grain industry sector and chaired by the American Bakers Association (ABA), testified today on the nutritional benefits bread and grain-based products at the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) meeting. The recommendations in the Committee’s recently released scientific report will form the basis of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). The DGAs are the cornerstone of all Federal nutrition policy and nutrition education guidelines, shaping consumer health decisions and doctor recommendations.
“We emphasize the importance of eating folic acid fortified foods, such as enriched breads, cereals, enriched pasta, milled rice and tortillas before conception occurs, to prevent neural tube defects,” testified Dr. Bruce Young, speaking on behalf of the Grain Chain. “We explain that the critical period is in the early weeks of pregnancy, often before the patient knows that she is pregnant, so folic acid enriched foods should be part of the daily diet.” 
The testimony and written comments highlighted key recommendations:

  • Iron-fortified grain foods can help meet increased iron demand during  pregnancy
  • There is little information in pregnancy about the role of whole grains versus refined grains in affecting the outcomes of pregnancy and the potential influence on childhood obesity
  • Major obstetrical outcomes in study conducted by Dr. Young were unrelated to the proportion of whole grains versus refined grains consumed
  • In a study conducted by Dr. Young, pregnant women who consumed mostly whole grains versus mostly refined grains both gained weight appropriately by IOM guidelines
  • Grain foods are a significant contributor to dietary fiber and almost one-quarter of dietary fiber comes from enriched grain foods

“Fiber is even more important in pregnancy, clinically and with effects on the microbiota, described recently,” said Dr. Young.
Dr. Young emphasized, “Besides pregnancy, all grains, enriched refined and whole, are valuable contributors to our health. To help combat the obesity epidemic, Americans need clear dietary guidance based on strong evidence from randomized controlled studies.”  

-About the Grain Chain-
ABA leads the Grain Chain whose members include: American Bakers Association, American Institute of Baking, Cereal and Grains Association, Grain Foods Foundation, Independent Bakers Association, National Pasta Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, North American Millers Association, Retail Bakers of America, Wheat Foods Council, and USA Rice Federation.
-American Bakers Association-
The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has worked to increase protection from costly government overreach, build the talent pool of skilled workers with specialized training programs, and forge industry alignment by establishing a more receptive environment to grow the baking industry. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas, and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products feeding America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $153 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 799,500 highly skilled people.