Date of Conferral





Public Health


Shirley Gerrior


While many health benefits have been associated with increased whole grain consumption, current researchers have not considered if the consumption of whole grains in currently recommended or higher amounts actually leads to health problems, specifically to a correlated increase in gluten sensitivity. The purpose of this study was to determine if diets high in whole grains or those that met the recommended daily intake of whole grains help minimize or increase gluten sensitivity, and when whole grains are consumed as recommended if they cause more harm than good. The theoretical basis for this quantitative, cross sectional design was the precaution adoption process model, allowing for the examination of preventive behaviors as a series of cognitive steps over time. Individuals (N = 5,746) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007 to 2012 were assessed for daily intake of whole grains before and after the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and from 2007 to 2010 for bowel health and sensitivity to whole grains. SAS correlations and regression analysis at p < .05 were analyzed. There was an increase in whole grain intake by 7.4% and in bowel sensitivity with 50% reporting increases in gas, but more data are needed to determine exact amounts that caused these increases in symptoms. Understanding the complete picture, policy makers and others will be more informed about current recommendations and the way that Americans eat, as well as if changes are needed for the future.