Denmark is a European frontrunner when it comes to whole grain consumption
Europe is looking towards Denmark, when talking about whole grain consumption, because Denmark has succeeded in significantly increasing the whole grain intake in the population. Last month, a number of stakeholders from all over Europe met in Brussels to discuss how to establish a European Public Private Whole Grain Partnership with inspiration from Denmark.
Danes are among the best to eat oatmeal, rye bread and whole grain buns. A number of health NGOs, researchers, consumer organisations, companies and members of the European Parliament has met in Brussels to discuss how to establish a European Public Private Whole Grain Partnership with the inspiration from the Danish Whole Grain Partnership established in 2008. The European Cancer League and the Health Grain Forum are among the organisers of the meeting, and they want to provide a platform for positive cooperation and dialogue on how to find the way for a European Whole Grain Partnership.
“Despite strong evidence of the prevalence of whole grains, for example in terms of cancer prevention, whole grain intake in Europe is worryingly low. There is a common whole grain definition and an EU recommendation of a daily whole grain intake to ensure good labeling of products and helping consumers find whole grain products. Denmark is a pioneer when it comes to increasing whole grain intake, and we are looking forward to learning from Denmark so that we can improve public health in Europe,” says Dr. Wendy Yared, Director of the European Cancer League.
In Denmark, whole grain intake has almost doubled over a period of 10 years, and the Danes now eat 63 grams of whole grain a day on average. The recommendation is 75 grams of whole grain a day.
Together we can make a far greater difference than if there was only one organisation that worked to increase the total grain intake.
“It is partly successful because the Danes have taken the advice of eating more whole grains and partly because we are so many different actors working together on the good cause and each contributing with our strengths,” says Rikke Iben Neess, campaign leader from the Danish Whole Grain Partnership.
Among the contributions from the whole grain partners is research, documentation, an official dietary advice, structural prevention and a range of tasty whole grain labeled products to choose between with a high whole grain content. The orange full grain logo, now found on 800 products, has made it easy for Danes to find the whole grain products.
The Danish Whole Grain Partnership is a public-private partnership that works to improve public health by making the Danes eat more whole grains. The partnership consists of the Danish Cancer Society, the Danish Heart Association, the Danish Diabetes Association, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and a number of food and retail companies.