Objectives: To quantify global consumption of key dietary fats and oils by country, age, and sex in 1990 and 2010.
Design: Data were identified, obtained, and assessed among adults in 16 age- and sex-specific groups from dietary surveys worldwide on saturated, omega 6, seafood omega 3, plant omega 3, and trans fats, and dietary cholesterol. We included 266 surveys in adults (83% nationally representative) comprising 1,630,069 unique individuals, representing 113 of 187 countries and 82% of the global population. A multilevel hierarchical Bayesian model accounted for differences in national and regional levels of missing data, measurement incomparability, study representativeness, and sampling and modelling uncertainty.
Setting and population: Global adult population, by age, sex, country, and time.
Results: In 2010, global saturated fat consumption was 9.4%E (95%UI=9.2 to 9.5); country-specific intakes varied dramatically from 2.3 to 27.5%E; in 75 of 187 countries representing 61.8% of the world's adult population, the mean intake was <10%E. Country-specific omega 6 consumption ranged from 1.2 to 12.5%E (global mean=5.9%E); corresponding range was 0.2 to 6.5%E (1.4%E) for trans fat; 97 to 440 mg/day (228 mg/day) for dietary cholesterol; 5 to 3,886 mg/day (163 mg/day) for seafood omega 3; and <100 to 5,542 mg/day (1,371 mg/day) for plant omega 3. Countries representing 52.4% of the global population had national mean intakes for omega 6 fat ≥ 5%E; corresponding proportions meeting optimal intakes were 0.6% for trans fat (≤ 0.5%E); 87.6% for dietary cholesterol (<300 mg/day); 18.9% for seafood omega 3 fat (≥ 250 mg/day); and 43.9% for plant omega 3 fat (≥ 1,100 mg/day). Trans fat intakes were generally higher at younger ages; and dietary cholesterol and seafood omega 3 fats generally higher at older ages. Intakes were similar by sex. Between 1990 and 2010, global saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and trans fat intakes remained stable, while omega 6, seafood omega 3, and plant omega 3 fat intakes each increased.
Conclusions: These novel global data on dietary fats and oils identify dramatic diversity across nations and inform policies and priorities for improving global health.