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Dietary fat intakes in Irish adults in 2011: how much has changed in 10 years?

  • Kaifeng Li (a1), Breige A. McNulty (a1), Ann M. Tiernery (a1), Niamh F. C. Devlin (a1), Triona Joyce (a1), Joao C. Leite (a1), Albert Flynn (a2), Janette Walton (a2), Lorraine Brennan (a1), Michael J. Gibney (a1) and Anne P. Nugent (a1)...


Imbalances in dietary fat intakes are linked to several chronic diseases. This study describes dietary intakes and food sources of fat and fatty acids in 1051 Irish adults (aged 18–90 years), using data from the 2011 national food consumption survey, the National Adult Nutrition Survey. It also compares current intakes for 18–64-year-olds with those reported in the last such survey in 2001, the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey. Dietary fat intakes were estimated using data from 4-d semi-weighed (2011) and 7-d estimated (2001) food diaries. In 2011, intakes for 18–64-year-olds were as follows: total fat, 34·1 (sd 6·1) % total energy (%TE); SFA, 13·3 (sd 3·3) %TE; MUFA, 12·5 (sd 2·6) %TE; PUFA, 6·1 (sd 2·2) %TE; and trans-fat, 0·511 (sd 0·282) %TE. Apart from MUFA, intakes decreased (P<0·001) compared with 2001. There was no statistically significant difference in intakes of EPA and DHA by 18–64-year-olds in 2011 (269·0 (sd 515·0) mg/d) and 2001 (279·1 (sd 497·5) mg/d). In 2011, adults aged >65 years had the highest intakes of SFA; however, intakes were typically higher than UK-recommended values for all groups. In contrast, intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids were lowest in younger age groups. Intakes of trans-fat were well within UK-recommended levels. Although there have been some improvements in the profile of intakes since 2001, imbalances persist in the quantity and quality of dietary fat consumed by Irish adults, most notably for total and SFA and for younger age groups for long-chain n-3 fatty acids.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: A. P. Nugent, email


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