Bakery foods are the major dietary source of trans-fatty acids among pregnant women with diets providing 30 percent energy from fat

J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):46-51. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8223(02)90015-5.


Objective: To estimate intake and identify major dietary sources of trans-fatty acids consumed by healthy, pregnant women.

Design: Cross-sectional prospective study using a food intake questionnaire designed specifically to estimate trans-fatty acid intakes calculated from a trans-fatty acid food database developed by food analysis.

Subjects/setting: Healthy, pregnant women (n=60) were recruited in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Statistical analyses performed: Using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 9.0, descriptive statistics were applied to all variables and paired t tests were used to determine differences in intakes between second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Results: The mean fat intakes (in g/person/day) for the second and third trimesters, respectively, were: 85.8 and 73.9 total fat, 31.5 and 26.4 monounsaturated, 29.7 and 26.3 saturated, 13.6 and 12.2 polyunsaturated, and 3.8 and 3.4 trans. Fat represented 28% of dietary energy in both trimesters. The major sources of trans-fatty acids were bakery foods (33% of trans-fatty acid intake), fast foods (12%), breads (10%), snacks (10%), and margarines/shortenings (8%).

Applications/conclusions: Women following diets providing about 30% energy from fat consumed about 90% of trans-fatty acids as invisible fat, with less than 10% from table spreads. Dietitians should educate pregnant clients about hidden sources of trans-fatty acids and emphasize the importance of dietary fat composition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Educational Status
  • Energy Intake*
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Food Analysis
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids