Consumption of trans fatty acids (TFAs) has been unequivocally linked to several adverse health effects, with the increased risk of cardiovascular disease being one of the most well understood. To reduce TFA-related morbidity and mortality, several countries have imposed voluntary or mandatory measures to minimize the content of industrial TFAs (iTFAs) in the food supply. In 2018, Slovenia introduced a ban on iTFAs on top of preceding voluntary calls to industry to reduce its use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) as the main source of iTFAs. To investigate the consumption of TFAs, data available from the nationally representative dietary survey SI.Menu were analyzed. The survey consisted of two 24-h non-consecutive day recalls from 1248 study participants from three age groups (10-17, 18-64, 65-74 years old), combined with socio-demographic, socio-economic, and lifestyle parameters. The analyses demonstrated that, on average, TFAs accounted for 0.38-0.50% of total energy intake (TEI). However, 13% of adolescents, 29.4% of adults, and 41.8% of the elderly population still consumed more than 0.50% TEI with TFAs. The main sources of TFAs in the diet were naturally present TFAs from butter, meat dishes, and meat products, regardless of the age group. Results indicate that following the reformulation activities, the major sources of TFAs in the diets of the Slovenian population now represent foods which are natural sources of TFAs.
Keywords: 24-h recall; EU Menu; Slovenian population; dietary intake; partially hydrogenated oils; trans fatty acids.