Trends in the trans-fatty acid composition of the diet in a metropolitan area: the Minnesota Heart Survey

J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Sep;103(9):1160-6. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8223(03)00976-3.


Objective: In this study, we examine trends in dietary intake of trans-fatty acids from 1980-1982 to 1995-1997 using data collected as part of the Minnesota Heart Survey (MHS).

Design: The MHS is an ongoing observational epidemiologic study among independent cross-sectional probability samples of adults. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were collected on a subset of participants. To obtain trans-fatty acid intake estimates, the dietary recall records were recalculated using the University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center Food and Nutrient Database. Subjects/setting The survey population included noninstitutionalized adults aged 25 to 74 years residing in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, metropolitan area. Statistical analysis Mean intake estimates were generated for each survey, and a generalized linear mixed model was used to test the null hypothesis of no difference in the age-adjusted sex-specific means between 1980-1982, 1985-1987, 1990-1992, and 1995-1997.

Results: Downward trends in dietary intake of trans-fatty acids were found between 1980-1982 and 1995-1997. For example, for men mean intake of total trans-fatty acids declined from 8.3 g per day in 1980-1982 to 6.2 g per day in 1995-1997 (P<.001). Represented as a percentage of energy, similar declines were seen with mean intake of total trans-fatty acids decreasing from 3.0% of total energy in 1980-1982 to 2.2% of total energy in 1995-1997 (P<.001).

Applications/conclusions: It seems that intake of trans-fatty acids is on the decline. Consideration should be given to additional changes in the food supply and consumer food choices that may result in further reduction in consumption of trans-fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / trends*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / chemistry
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Supply
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Nutrition Policy


  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated