Food and Behaviour Research

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Trends in fatty acid intake of adults in the Minneapolis-St Paul, MN Metropolitan Area, 1980-1982 through 2007-2009.

Honors MA, Harnack LJ, Zhou X, Steffen LM. (2014) J Am Heart Assoc.  3(5) doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001023.  Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.

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Intake of dietary fatty acids has been linked to cardiovascular disease risk. However, data available to evaluate trends in fatty acid intake in the US population are limited, particularly with regard to trans fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).


The present analysis examined trends in fatty acid intake from 1980-1982 through 2007-2009 and compared levels of intake to those recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and by the American Heart Association.

Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were collected from 12 526 participants enrolled in the Minnesota Heart Survey, a series of 6 independent cross-sectional surveys designed to monitor cardiovascular risk factors in noninstitutionalized adults residing in the Minneapolis-St Paul, MN metropolitan area.

Mean intake estimates were generated for each survey, and a generalized linear mixed model was used to test the null hypothesis of no difference in the age-adjusted, sex-specific means across survey years.

Downward trends were observed for total, saturated, and trans fat as a percent of total energy in both men and women.
However, mean intakes were still above recommended levels for both trans and saturated fatty acids. Mean intakes of DHA and EPA were also below recommended levels.


Despite promising trends, mean intakes of trans and saturated fatty acids do not meet current recommendations. Additional public health strategies are needed to promote recommended intakes of dietary fats.