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Nutrients 2017, 9(9), 930; doi:10.3390/nu9090930

Discrepancy between Knowledge and Perceptions of Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Compared with the Omega-3 Index

1
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, Room 143, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
2
Department of Preventive Cardiology, Medizinische Klinik and Poliklinik I, Campus Innenstadt, Ludwig Maximilians University, Ziemssen str.1, D-80336 Munich, Germany
3
Department of Medicine, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Health Science Center, 1400 West 22nd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, USA
4
OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC, 5009 W. 12th Street, Suite 8, Sioux Falls, SD 57106, USA
5
Jefferson Women’s Primary, 211 S. 9th Street, Walnut Towers, Ste. 401, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
6
Grub4Life and People Matter TV, 40 Bowling Green Lane, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0NE, UK
7
Women and Heart Disease Center, Lenox Hill Hospital, 110 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022, USA
8
Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology, University of Utah, 201 South Presidents Circle Room 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
9
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, Stone Hall, Room 143A, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
Former address: Reckitt Benckiser North America Inc., Morris Corporate Center IV, 399 Interpace Parkway, P.O. Box 225, Parsippany, NJ 07054, USA.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract

Little is known about the relationship between perceptions of nutrient adequacy and biomarkers of nutrition status. This cross-sectional study of U.S. and German adults (n = 200; 18–80 years) compared dietary practices, knowledge, and beliefs of omega-3 fatty acids (O3-FA) with the omega-3 index (O3-I), an erythrocyte-based biomarker associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. More than half of adults believed that O3-FAs are beneficial for heart and brain health and could correctly identify the food sources of O3-FA. However, the mean O3-I in the U.S. (4.3%) and Germany (5.5%) puts the majority of adults sampled (99%) in intermediate or high CVD-risk categories. More Americans were considered at high CVD-risk (40%) when compared with Germans (10%). In the U.S., but not Germany, women had a significantly higher O3-I than men (4.8% vs. 3.8%, p < 0.001). In the intermediate CVD-risk group, about one-third of adults in both countries (30% in the U.S. and 27% in Germany) believed their diet was adequate in O3-FA. Notably, mean O3-I concentrations did not significantly differ with dietary perceptions of adequacy. More adults in Germany (26%) than in the U.S. (10%) believed that dietary supplements are needed to achieve a balanced diet. In spite of adequate knowledge about food sources and a consistent belief that O3-FA are important for health, very few participants had O3-I concentrations in the range for CVD protection. View Full-Text
Keywords: Biomarker; dietary perception; Omega-3 index; fatty acids Biomarker; dietary perception; Omega-3 index; fatty acids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thuppal, S.V.; von Schacky, C.; Harris, W.S.; Sherif, K.D.; Denby, N.; Steinbaum, S.R.; Haycock, B.; Bailey, R.L. Discrepancy between Knowledge and Perceptions of Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Compared with the Omega-3 Index. Nutrients 2017, 9, 930.

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