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North American food company ConAgra Foods Inc.’s (CAG - Analyst Report) petition regarding the role of whole grains in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Of all the cases of diabetes, type 2 diabetes accounts for roughly 90%–95%. Basic therapies for type 2 diabetes include healthy eating, physical activity and blood glucose testing. According to 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million children and adults in the U.S., i.e. 8.3% of the population, suffers from diabetes.

At present, roughly 79 million Americans are at a risk of developing the type 2 diabetes. Subsequent to the approval, food product companies can announce that foods containing whole grains that meet certain nutrient requirements reduce the possibility of getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Per the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines, three ounces of whole grains are recommended daily. Three cups of ConAgra’s Orville Redenbacher’s SmartPop a day equals the prescription. ConAgra also manufactures Ultragrain, the first of its kind to contain 100% whole wheat with the taste, texture and appearance of traditional white flour.

While ConAgra suffered year-over-year reduction in sales of Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, this approval will bolster consumers’ faith in the company’s products. This approval is expected to drive demand for whole grains and add to the top line of the company.

ConAgra currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other stocks worth a watch in the industry include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR - Analyst Report), Pinnacle Foods Inc. (PF - Snapshot Report) and Boulder Brands, Inc. (BDBD - Snapshot Report). While Green Mountain Coffee and Pinnacle Foods carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Boulder Brands carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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