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Title: Attitudes to and consumption of whole grain foods in Northern Ireland
Author: McMackin , Elaine Mary
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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Evidence suggests that whole grain foods may reduce the risk of chronic diseases; however, intake of whole grains in the UK is below optimal levels. This thesis has been primarily concerned with evaluating attitudes towards whole grain foods and measuring current consumption in an unstudied, culturally distinct region of the UK i.e. Northern Ireland. Qualitative focus groups and a cross-sectional survey were conducted to a) evaluate attitudes towards whole grains among various subgroups of respondents, b) measure whole grain intake, and c) evaluate health related factors influencing willingness to use breads with health claims and whole grain intake. Another cross-sectional study compared whole grain intake estimated using two dietary methods (a grain-specific food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and seven day food diary) with plasma alkyl resorcinol concentrations (a potential whole grain biomarker). Results suggest that Northern Irish adults perceive whole grain foods to be 'healthy', but report many barriers to consumption, notably, a negative perception of the sensory qualities and an inability to identify whole grains. Respondents were either 'more' or 'less' favouring towards whole grains compared with refined grain foods. Whole grain intake was quite low; intakes were higher among those with 'more' favouring attitudes, and those broadly described as being 'health conscious' in terms of their socio-demographic, -economic, health and lifestyle profile. General food choice factors and health motivation influenced willingness to use breads with health claims, and whole grain intake. Lastly, the grain-specific FFQ correlated with other assessment methods, illustrating its ability to assess whole grain intake. This thesis provides an important insight into barriers and facilitators of whole grain consumption and demonstrates how attitudes and consumption differ among several subgroups. This information could be utilised by health practitioners promoting increased whole grain consumption, as well as the food industry when developing and marketing more acceptable whole grain products.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available