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Monthly 3D Poll

2011-05-11

Are Kids Getting Enough Healthy Fatty Acids Like Omega-3s?

First, a cool didgeridoo video...


Alright, now... we know fatty acid composition of the diet may influence cardiovascular risk from early childhood onwards. The objective of the present study was to perform a systematic review (a thorough review of other studies that investigated the topic) of dietary fat and fatty acid intakes in children and adolescents from different countries around the world and compare these with the population nutrient intake goals for prevention of chronic diseases as defined by the WHO (2003 guidelines).

Fatty acid intake data from thirty countries, mainly from developed countries, were included. In twenty-eight of the thirty countries, average intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA, which are typically the unhealthy fatty acids) were higher than the recommended maximum, whereas in twenty-one out of thirty countries, average intake of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA, which include the healthy omega-3 fatty acids) were below recommendations.

Despite the limitations in the study and data collection, the available data clearly indicate that in the majority of countries providing data on fatty acid intake, less than half of the children and adolescents meet the SFA and PUFA intake goals that are recommended for the prevention of chronic diseases. That's a lot of kids setting themselves up for future health problems.

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Source: Fatty acid intakes of children and adolescents are not in line with the dietary intake recommendations for future cardiovascular health: a systematic review of dietary intake data from thirty countries

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