Fat

Mean total fat intake as a proportion of energy in the NDNS was around 35%, corresponding to the UK dietary reference value (DRV). This is lower than the intakes (38-40% energy from fat) found in previous studies. However, intakes of saturated fat, at 14% energy, still exceeded the DRV of 11% energy. Of more concern was the subgroup of adolescents in the highest percentile of intakes who consumed around 17% energy from saturated fat.

This emphasizes the view that, although mean intakes may look acceptable when compared with dietary guidelines, there may be 'at risk' groups whose dietary habits predispose them to a greater risk of chronic disease. Main sources of saturated fat in the adolescent diet included meat and meat products (around 20%), savory snacks, and fried foods. In most other countries, fat intakes were 36-38% energy with the highest fat intake reported in Finland, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain at around 38% energy. In the US, where the dietary guideline is 30%, intakes were around 32% energy from fat.

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