Despite their recognized health benefits, intakes of whole grains (WG) are below recommended levels in almost all countries worldwide. This observation highlights the need to increase WG consumption by understanding factors influencing this consumption and how they could be favorably impacted. This review focused on facilitators of and barriers to WG consumption and how to improve the effectiveness of programs aiming at increasing WG consumption. The main methods to facilitate WG intakes in both adults and children seem to be to (i) increase the availability and the variety of foods containing WG, (ii) improve their sensory appeal, (iii) reduce their purchase cost, (iv) use a familiarization period to introduce them to consumers (with a gradual increase in consumed amounts and repeated exposure), and (v) improve communication and labeling to enhance consumers’ ability to identify products with WG. These strategies may be used to improve the effectiveness of programs aiming at promoting WG consumption, with a further emphasis on the need to apply them over a long period of time, and potentially to include tasting sessions of new foods containing WG. Finally, these strategies should involve broad partnerships between multiple stakeholders at the regulatory, institutional and industrial levels.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited