After the discovery that trans fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease, trans fat content of foods have considerably changed. The aim of this study was to systematically review available data on intakes of trans fat and its dietary sources in general populations worldwide. Data from national dietary surveys and population studies published from 1995 onward were searched via Scopus and websites of national public health institutes. Relevant data from 29 countries were identified. The most up to date estimates of total trans fat intake ranged from 0.3 to 4.2 percent of total energy intake (En%) across countries. Seven countries had trans fat intakes higher than the World Health Organization recommendation of 1 En%. In 16 out of 21 countries with data on dietary sources, intakes of trans fat from animal sources were higher than that from industrial sources. Time trend data from 20 countries showed substantial declines in industrial trans fat intake since 1995. In conclusion, nowadays, in the majority of countries for which data are available, average trans fat intake is lower than the recommended maximum intake of 1 En%, with intakes from animal sources being higher than from industrial sources. In the past 20 years, substantial reductions in industrial trans fat have been achieved in many countries.
Keywords: dietary sources; industrial trans fat; national dietary survey; partially hydrogenated vegetable oils; review; ruminant trans fat; trans fatty acid.