Parents need to know that white bread vs. whole wheat is not a trivial question. Whether or not children eat whole grains could have a major impact on their health. The current epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes has been making headlines.
A study in the August 2002 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed data from the large, ongoing Framingham Offspring Study. The study found that after adjusting for other variables, there remained a strong correlation between the amounts of whole grain consumed over a four year period, and healthier weight, healthier waist-to-hip ratio, and decreased risk for diabetes. This was true no matter how much refined grain was eaten, and no matter how much fiber.
This study was done in adults. But in the last few years, children have borrowed both obesity and type 2 diabetes from adults. Perhaps it would be wise to also borrow a solution – let’s make whole grain a kids’ food, not type 2 diabetes a kids’ disease.