EUFIC launches Whole Grains Campaign to Inspire Uptake of Whole Grains and Revert Health RisksLast Updated : 14 November 2023
On November 15th, on the occasion of the 5th International Whole Grains Day, the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) launches a campaign that aims to highlight the positive impact of whole grain on nutrition, wellbeing, and sustainability and to inspire citizens to integrate these nutritious choices into their daily diets. Science-based articles and infographics, including easy tips to increase whole grain intake, as well as social media challenges aim to help consumers make the switch.
“Most Europeans are eating too little whole grain and may be missing out on health benefits that these nutrient dense, fibre-rich foods offer. That’s why this year for International Whole grain Day EUFIC is launching our first annual Wholegrain Challenge. By raising awareness of the benefits and wide variety of options out there, we hope to encourage people to make the switch and prioritize whole grains in their daily diet, in the long run.” said Nina McGrath, Content Area Lead at Eufic.
Whole Grains by the number
Fibre is important for our health and well-being, and it is found in a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables and cereals. Most European dietary guidelines recommend a daily intake of dietary fibre of 25-35 g for adults (30-35 g of fibre per day for men and 25-32 g per day for women). However, most European (adult) citizens fall short of the recommendation.
Consumption of wholegrain, which contain fibers, is very low in Europe. According to data compiled in 2021, Belgium is amongst the five countries that consume the least whole grains per day on average - Hungary (1.3 g), Croatia (2.8 g), Italy (11.9 g), Belgium (11.9 g) and Spain (12.2 g)*. Most European food-based dietary guidelines recommend that people replace refined cereals with wholegrains, with a few countries offering a more specific recommendations that people should consume 75-90 g per day.
Increasing the use of whole grain against refined ones can help citizens achieve the recommended daily intake of fibre and help them maintain optimal health and prevent non-communicable diseases.
The benefit of ‘the switch’ and how to get involved
According to the 2017 Global Burden of Disease study, a diet low in whole grains is the second greatest dietary risk factor for death, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity.
Consumers can take small steps to increase their wholegrain intake: EUFIC releases easy tips on how to identify whole grain products and adapt traditional recipes, as well as an article on how to get enough fibre.
Additionally, EUFIC launches its social media challenge campaign #SwitchToWholeGrains, to encourage citizens to swap traditional refined pasta, bread or breakfast cereals with their fibre-rich alternatives. People can show how they incorporate whole grains options in their daily diet, following the lead and examples as well offered by food influencers engaged in the challenge.
Furthermore, on November 15th, the high-level event “Empowering the next generations with whole grain” takes place at the European Parliament, organised by the Whole Grain Initiative (WGI), of which EUFIC is a member. The event will host a range of global stakeholders that will convene to explore the vital role of educating children and young people about the benefits associated with whole grain consumption. Registration to participate in the event in person or online can be found here.
Links to the two articles:
*note : the number is an average between the country’s intake of female and male citizens. Note that, in all countries across the EU, women report to eat more whole grains than men.