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Has fat intake truly decreased in us

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Fat intake US has remained rather stable during the past decades despite many claims. I present here the case based on USDA and NHANES data.

Claiming that fat intake has decreased in US is as silly as advising a dieter: “If you want to follow a low-fat diet just keep your fat intake at the current level and simply increase the consumption of carbs. Then you are on low-fat diet and you will reap all the benefits of the diet”

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Has fat intake truly decreased in us

  1. 1. Has intake of fat truly decreased in the United States during the last decades? Data from NHANES studies and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Registered dietitian, M.Sc, MBA Reijo Laatikainen www.pronutritionist.net www.twitter.com/pronutritionist Page 1
  2. 2. NHANES studies 1971-2010 Absolute intake in grams. Data is based on self-reports which usually underestimate real intake 2
  3. 3. Intake of fat, carbohydrates and protein (grams/day/person) NHANES Ford ES, Dietz WH. Trends in energy intake among adults in the United States: findings from NHANES. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):848-53.
  4. 4. Data from USDA (1971-2006) Absolute availability per person in grams. Data is based on balance sheets (food availability) which may overestimate consumption of all macronutrients due to incomplete correction of food waste 4
  5. 5. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 gramspercaptia/day Fat, protein and carbohydrate availability in US (grams/day/person) USDA Carbohydrates Total fat Source: USDA, http://www.ers.usda.gov/ Protein
  6. 6. Is there any data that supported the notion of decreased fat intake in US? Yes. Only data that supports this notion is data that is presented as percentage of total energy intake (E%). But this is misleading because the increased intake of carbohydrates over the time, and thus increased intake of total calories, drives the percentage of fat calories down. 6
  7. 7. NHANES studies 1971-2010 Percentage of energy intake 7
  8. 8. Intake of fat, carbohydrates and protein (percentage of energy intake/day/person) NHANES Ford ES, Dietz WH. Trends in energy intake among adults in the United States: findings from NHANES. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):848-53.
  9. 9. Claiming that fat intake has decreased in the US is a silly as advising a dieter the following: ‘If you want to follow a low-fat diet, simply maintain your current level of fat intake and increase your consumption of carbs. Then, you are on a low-fat diet, and you will reap the benefits of that diet.’ 9
  10. 10. Conclusion • There is no decrease in fat intake in US population during the past four decades. • Intake of carbohydrates has increased and intake protein has remained rather stable during the same time period. Therefore the percentage of total calories from fat has decreased. • US population has not followed low fat diet but has only increased carbohydrate intake. • It’s misleading to claim that US population had followed low fat diet as it was described in dietary guidelines in 1980s. 10
  11. 11. Wellcome aboard! http://twitter.com/pronutritionist http://www.facebook.com/pronutritionist http://www.pronutritionist.net Reijo Laatikainen, RD, MBA Images bought and licensed from BigStockPhoto. Snapshots from papers and sites refered to. Page 11

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