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Open AccessArticle

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake by Age, Gender, and Pregnancy Status in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2014

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
2
College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
3
College of Allied Health Professions, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
4
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
5
Department of Nutritional Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
6
Division of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010177
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract

Despite the importance of n-3 fatty acids for health, intakes remain below recommended levels. The objective of this study was to provide an updated assessment of fish and n-3 fatty acid intake (i.e., eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and EPA+DHA) in the United States using the 2003–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data (n = 45,347)). Over this survey period, toddlers, children, and adolescents (aged 1–19) had significantly lower n-3 fatty acid intake (p < 0.001) compared to adults and seniors, which remained significant after adjusting for caloric intake. Females demonstrated lower n-3 fatty acid intake than males (p < 0.001), with adult and senior women having significantly lower intakes compared to men in the same age categories (p < 0.001) after adjustment for energy intake. Women also consumed less fish than men (5.8 versus 6.1 servings/month, p < 0.001). The estimated intakes of n-3 fatty acids in pregnant women did not differ from non-pregnant women (p = 0.6 for EPA+DHA), although pregnant women reported consuming less high n-3 fatty acid-containing fish than non-pregnant women (1.8 versus 2.6 servings/month, p < 0.001). Our findings indicate that subgroups of the population may be at higher risk of n-3 fatty acid intakes below recommended levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; omega-3 fatty acids; lifespan; oily fish; fish oil supplements eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; omega-3 fatty acids; lifespan; oily fish; fish oil supplements
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Thompson, M.; Hein, N.; Hanson, C.; Smith, L.M.; Anderson-Berry, A.; Richter, C.K.; Stessy Bisselou, K.; Kusi Appiah, A.; Kris-Etherton, P.; Skulas-Ray, A.C.; Nordgren, T.M. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake by Age, Gender, and Pregnancy Status in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2014. Nutrients 2019, 11, 177.

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