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Global, regional, and national consumption levels of dietary fats and oils in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis including 266 country-specific nutrition surveys

Abstract

Objectives To quantify global consumption of key dietary fats and oils by country, age, and sex in 1990 and 2010.

Design Data were identified, obtained, and assessed among adults in 16 age- and sex-specific groups from dietary surveys worldwide on saturated, omega 6, seafood omega 3, plant omega 3, and trans fats, and dietary cholesterol. We included 266 surveys in adults (83% nationally representative) comprising 1 630 069 unique individuals, representing 113 of 187 countries and 82% of the global population. A multilevel hierarchical Bayesian model accounted for differences in national and regional levels of missing data, measurement incomparability, study representativeness, and sampling and modelling uncertainty.

Setting and population Global adult population, by age, sex, country, and time.

Results In 2010, global saturated fat consumption was 9.4%E (95%UI=9.2 to 9.5); country-specific intakes varied dramatically from 2.3 to 27.5%E; in 75 of 187 countries representing 61.8% of the world’s adult population, the mean intake was <10%e. country-specific="" omega="" 6="" consumption="" ranged="" from="" 1="" 2="" to="" 12="" 5="" e="" global="" mean="" corresponding="" range="" was="" 0="" 4="" for="" trans="" fat="" 97="" 440="" mg="" day="" 228="" dietary="" cholesterol="" 3="" 886="" 163="" seafood="" and="" 100="" 542="" 371="" plant="" countries="" representing="" 52="" of="" the="" population="" had="" national="" intakes="" proportions="" meeting="" optimal="" were="" 87="" 300="" 18="" 9="" 250="" 43="" generally="" higher="" at="" younger="" ages="" fats="" older="" similar="" by="" sex="" between="" 1990="" 2010="" saturated="" remained="" stable="" while="" each="" increased="" p="">

Conclusions These novel global data on dietary fats and oils identify dramatic diversity across nations and inform policies and priorities for improving global health.

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Alex's notes: The most interesting thing for me is the extreme diversity in the composition of regional fat intake. Especially regarding omega-6 intake, you can see how widespread the consumption of industrial vegetable oils are via the abundant shades of green in figure 2. Even more disturbing is the prevelence of trans-fat intake in North America (yes canada included, see figure 3). Wow, 3% of energy intake is trans-fats. Let's do some fun math. At an arbitrary energy intake of 2000 Calories (even though we know it is likely higher), trans-fat intake is 6-7 grams. This must come from processed foods, and since the FDA labeling laws allow "0" to be stated if a serving of frankenfood contains less than .5g of trans-fats, people are eating around 12 servings of processed crap daily.

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