Fat Consumption

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From 2009 to 2010, saturated fat made up 10.8% of the calories people consumed.

Summary graph for Fat Consumption, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

Some studies suggest that high-fat diets or high intakes of different types of fat in the diet may be linked to several cancers, including colon, lung, and postmenopausal breast cancer, as well as heart disease and other chronic diseases.

More research is needed to better understand which types of fat should be avoided and how much of each type alters cancer risk. Although monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids have been studied for a number of years, their effects are still unclear. More recent research on the effects of trans fatty acids also has yet to reach definitive conclusions.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,  issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend getting less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and keeping trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible for general health and the prevention of chronic disease, including cancer and heart disease. The guidelines also recommend keeping total fat intake between 20 and 35 percent of calories for adults, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

Measure

Intakes of total fat, and of the major fatty acids - saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated - as a percentage of total calories.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Reduce to 16.7 percent the mean percentage of total daily calorie intake from solid fats for the population aged 2 years and older.
  • Reduce to 9.5 percent the mean percentage of total daily calorie intake from saturated fat for the population aged 2 years and older.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, 1989-1998.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2010.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Fat Intake Comparison

Fat intake as a percentage of total calories, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Fat intake as a percentage of total calories, 1989-2010 TotalClick to see the detailed trend graph for Total 32.6 (32.2 - 32.9)
Saturated fatClick to see the detailed trend graph for Saturated fat 10.8 (10.6 - 10.9)
Monounsaturated fatClick to see the detailed trend graph for Monounsaturated fat 11.6 (11.5 - 11.7)
Polyunsaturated fatClick to see the detailed trend graph for Polyunsaturated fat 7.2 (7.1 - 7.4)

Total Fat Intake

By Sex
Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 32.6 (32.2 - 32.9)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 32.6 (32.0 - 33.1)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 32.6 (32.3 - 32.9)
By Race/Ethnicity
Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 32.6 (32.2 - 32.9)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 33.0 (32.6 - 33.5)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 33.0 (32.3 - 33.6)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 30.8 (30.4 - 31.2)
By Poverty Income Level
Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 32.0 (31.5 - 32.4)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 33.0 (32.5 - 33.5)

Saturated Fat Intake

By Sex
Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 10.8 (10.6 - 10.9)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 10.8 (10.5 - 11.0)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 10.8 (10.7 - 10.9)
By Race/Ethnicity
Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 10.8 (10.6 - 10.9)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 11.1 (10.9 - 11.2)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 10.6 (10.3 - 10.9)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 10.1 (9.9 - 10.3)
By Poverty Income Level
Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 10.7 (10.4 - 10.9)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 10.9 (10.7 - 11.1)

Monosaturated Fat Intake

By Sex
Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 11.6 (11.5 - 11.7)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 11.8 (11.6 - 12.0)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 11.4 (11.4 - 11.5)
By Race/Ethnicity
Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 11.6 (11.5 - 11.7)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 11.7 (11.5 - 11.9)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 11.9 (11.7 - 12.1)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 11.1 (10.9 - 11.3)
By Poverty Income Level
Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 11.4 (11.3 - 11.6)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 11.7 (11.5 - 11.9)

Polyunsaturated Fat Intake

By Sex
Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2010 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 7.2 (7.1 - 7.4)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 7.0 (6.8 - 7.2)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 7.4 (7.3 - 7.5)
By Race/Ethnicity
Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2010 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 7.2 (7.1 - 7.4)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 7.3 (7.1 - 7.5)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 7.4 (7.2 - 7.7)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 6.8 (6.6 - 6.9)
By Poverty Income Level
Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2009 to 2010)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2010 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 6.9 (6.9 - 7.0)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 7.4 (7.1 - 7.6)

Additional Information on Fat Consumption

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Statistics

Year Range

1989-2010

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2005-2010

Summary Tables

Diet

Recent Summary Trend

Stable

Desired Direction

Falling