September 24/Omaha, Neb./Business Wire -- ConAgra Foods Inc. praised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving its petition for a qualified health claim that links whole grain consumption to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

As a result of this approval, food manufacturers will now be able to communicate that whole grains and whole grain-containing foods which meet certain nutrient requirements outlined by the FDA may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“We were the originator of this petition and we’re thrilled the FDA is confirming that whole grains have a positive effect on people’s health and well-being and can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” says Al Bolles, Ph.D., executive vice president, Research, Quality and Innovation at ConAgra Foods. Mark Andon, Ph.D., vice president of Nutrition at ConAgra Foods, agrees. “For the 79 million Americans who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, this claim will provide easy, at-a-glance guidance for foods which can help reduce their risk.”

At least 3oz. of whole grains per day is recommended by the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines, but less than 5% of Americans actually meet this goal. “To put this into context, 1oz. of whole grains is equal to one slice of whole wheat bread, a ½-cup serving of cooked whole grain pasta, or three cups of popcorn like Orville Redenbacher’s SmartPop!” says Andon.

“With obesity and type 2 diabetes on the rise, this claim helps reinforce the public health messages that consumers are receiving from trusted sources about the importance of including more whole grains for a healthful lifestyle,” explains Andon.