The objective of the present study was to characterize the consumption of cooked oatmeal in the United States (U.S.) and to determine whether oatmeal consumption is associated with body mass index (BMI). To estimate current intakes of cooked oatmeal in the various age and gender population groups, we used dietary intake data from Day 1 of the U.S. 2009–2010 and 2011–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). We also used dietary intake data from Day 1 of the U.S. 2003–2012 NHANES to assess associations between intakes of cooked oatmeal (in g/kg body weight) and NHANES cycle (2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2007–2008, 2009–2010, 2011–2012), age category (3–11 years, 12–18 years, 19–44 years, 45 years+), gender, and BMI classification (underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese), using a multiple linear regression model. A consumer of oatmeal was defined as any individual who reported the consumption of any amount of oatmeal on Day 1 of the survey. Approximately 6% of the total population consumed oatmeal, with an average intake of 238 g/day of cooked oatmeal among consumers. The greatest prevalence of oatmeal consumption was in infants (14.3%) and older female adults (11.1%). Amongst oatmeal consumers, underweight, normal weight, and overweight individuals consumed significantly more oatmeal than obese individuals. Oatmeal was consumed almost exclusively at breakfast and, among consumers, contributed an average of 54.3% of the energy consumed at breakfast across all age groups examined. The association between oatmeal consumption and BMI is interesting and requires confirmation in future clinical studies.
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