Fat Consumption

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From 2015 to 2016, saturated fat made up 11.7% 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 2015-2020 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 14.2 percent the mean percentage of total daily calorie intake from solid fats for the population aged 2 years and older.
  • Reduce to 9.9 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.
Note: Goals are indicated as blue line on Detailed Trend Graphs.

Data Source

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Food Surveys Research Group (Beltsville, MD). Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals 1989-1991, 1994-96, 1998

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2016.

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

Fat Intake Comparison

Fat intake as a percentage of total calories, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Fat intake as a percentage of total calories, 1989-2016 TotalClick to see the detailed trend graph for Total 35.2 34.8 - 35.6
Saturated FatClick to see the detailed trend graph for Saturated Fat 11.7 11.5 - 11.9
Monounsaturated FatClick to see the detailed trend graph for Monounsaturated Fat 12.3 12.1 - 12.4
Polyunsaturated FatClick to see the detailed trend graph for Polyunsaturated Fat 8.0 7.9 - 8.2

Total Fat Intake

By Sex
Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 35.2 34.8 - 35.6
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 34.9 34.4 - 35.4
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 35.5 35.0 - 36.0
By Race/Ethnicity
Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 35.2 34.8 - 35.6
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 35.9 35.4 - 36.4
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 35.1 34.4 - 35.8
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 33.8 33.3 - 34.4
By Poverty Income Level
Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Total fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016 <200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of Federal Poverty Level 34.5 33.9 - 35.2
>=200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of Federal Poverty Level 35.7 35.3 - 36.1

Saturated Fat Intake

By Sex
Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 11.7 11.5 - 11.9
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 11.7 11.4 - 11.9
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 11.7 11.5 - 11.9
By Race/Ethnicity
Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 11.7 11.5 - 11.9
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 12.1 11.9 - 12.3
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 11.0 10.8 - 11.3
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 11.1 10.9 - 11.3
By Poverty Income Level
Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016 <200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of Federal Poverty Level 11.4 11.1 - 11.7
>=200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of Federal Poverty Level 11.9 11.6 - 12.1

Monosaturated Fat Intake

By Sex
Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 12.3 12.1 - 12.4
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 12.2 12.0 - 12.4
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 12.3 12.0 - 12.6
By Race/Ethnicity
Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 12.3 12.1 - 12.4
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 12.4 12.2 - 12.7
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 12.3 12.1 - 12.6
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 11.7 11.5 - 12.0
By Poverty Income Level
Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Monosaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016 <200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of Federal Poverty Level 11.9 11.7 - 12.2
>=200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of Federal Poverty Level 12.5 12.3 - 12.7

Polyunsaturated Fat Intake

By Sex
Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by sex, 1989-2016 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 8.0 7.9 - 8.2
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 7.8 7.6 - 8.0
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 8.3 8.0 - 8.5
By Race/Ethnicity
Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by race/ethnicity, 1989-2016 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 8.0 7.9 - 8.2
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 8.1 7.8 - 8.3
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 8.5 8.2 - 8.8
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 7.7 7.6 - 7.9
By Poverty Income Level
Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015 to 2016)
Percent of total calories 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Polyunsaturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories by poverty income level, 1989-2016 <200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of Federal Poverty Level 7.9 7.8 - 8.1
>=200% of Federal Poverty LevelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of Federal Poverty Level 8.1 7.9 - 8.4

Evidence-based Resources

Resources are available on diet and nutrition on the Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. web portal. Identify population-based evidence-based approaches on healthy eating and locate multiple evidence-based interventions.

Additional Information on Fat Consumption

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Statistics

Year Range

1989-2016

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2011-2016

Summary Tables

Diet

Recent Summary Trend

Stable

Desired Direction

Falling