Cooked oatmeal consumption is associated with better diet quality, better nutrient intakes, and reduced risk for central adiposity and obesity in children 2-18 years: NHANES 2001-2010

Food Nutr Res. 2015 May 27;59:26673. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v59.26673. eCollection 2015.


Background: None of the studies of whole grains that have looked either at diet or weight/adiposity measures have focused exclusively on oatmeal.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the association between oatmeal consumption and nutrient intake, diet quality, and weight/adiposity of children aged 2-18.

Design: A nationally representative sample of children aged 2-18 (N=14,690) participating in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2010 was used. Intake was determined from a single 24-h dietary recall. Diet quality was measured using the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010). Covariate-adjusted regression analyses, using appropriate sample weights, were used to determine differences between oatmeal consumers and non-consumers for demographics, nutrient intakes, diet quality, and weight/adiposity measures (p<0.01). Logistic regression was performed to calculate odds ratios for weight measures and obesity (p<0.05).

Results: Compared to non-consumers, oatmeal consumers were more likely to be younger and less likely to be smokers. Consumers had higher intakes of dietary fiber, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, and potassium, and significantly lower intakes of total, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and sodium. Oatmeal consumers had higher dietary quality scores attributable to higher intakes of whole grains and lower intakes of refined grains and empty calories. Children consuming oatmeal were at lower risk for having central adiposity and being obese.

Conclusions: Consumption of oatmeal by children was associated with better nutrient intake, diet quality, and reduced risk for central adiposity and obesity and should be encouraged as part of an overall healthful diet.

Keywords: NHANES; children; cooked cereal; diet quality; nutrient intake; oatmeal; obesity.