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Dietary intake of trans fatty acids as a cardiovascular risk factor in a population of Italian teenagers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 October 2009

Francesco Sofi*
Affiliation:
Regional Agency of Nutrition, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Italy Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Thrombosis Centre, University of Florence Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Onlus IRCCS, Impruneta, Florence, Italy
Daniele Rapini
Affiliation:
Regional Agency of Nutrition, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Italy
Giulia Innocenti
Affiliation:
Regional Agency of Nutrition, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Italy
Rosanna Abbate
Affiliation:
Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Thrombosis Centre, University of Florence
Gian Franco Gensini
Affiliation:
Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Thrombosis Centre, University of Florence Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Onlus IRCCS, Impruneta, Florence, Italy
Alessandro Casini
Affiliation:
Regional Agency of Nutrition, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Italy
*Corresponding
Correspondence to: Francesco Sofi, MD, PhD, Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Thrombosis Centre, University of Florence, Italy, Viale Morgagni, 85, 50134 Florence, Italy. Tel: +39-055-7949420; Fax: +39-055-7949418; E-mail: francescosofi@gmail.com

Abstract

Trans fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids produced by the partial hydrogenation of polyunsaturated oils. Over the last few years, an increasing interest on these fatty acids has been shown because of their role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. To date, major scientific associations strongly recommend consuming a low intake of trans fatty acids for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, but data on the consumption of these fatty acids in the general population are still lacking. We conducted this observational study on a population of Italian teenagers in order to evaluate the consumption of trans fatty acids in the diet. We studied 81 Italian teenagers, 45 males and 36 females, with a median age of 16 years. To assess their consumption of trans fatty acids, we used the “High School Survey”, a questionnaire prepared by the Harvard Medical School. Total calories of the studied population were 2359.2 ± 591.5 kcal/day with a mean intake of trans fatty acids of 3.24 ± 1.48 g/day, corresponding to 1.23% of the total energy. A relevant proportion of subjects, namely 51 (62.9%), exceeded the limit contribution of 1% of energy from trans fatty acids. Their intake of total calories and trans fatty acids significantly increased according to their increasing age (p = 0.0003 for trend). Our data, therefore, obtained in a limited population of Italian adolescents, showed that a consistent proportion of adolescents does not follow the nutritional recommendations for intake of trans fatty acids, likely increasing their risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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