Intakes and Food Sources of Fat Among Adolescent Males in New Zealand
Introduction: Both inadequate and excessive intakes of fat can lead to negative health consequences. Adolescence may be an important period where longer term food habits are formed. This is also a time of increased autonomy around food choice, which may lead to a higher intake of processed foods high in saturated fat. Few studies have assessed intakes and food sources of fat among adolescents. In addition, only a limited number of studies separate males from females or assess fatty acid composition. Also, the most recent data among New Zealand adolescents are dated and up to date information is needed to inform public health initiatives. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine current intakes, composition, and the main food contributors of fat in the diets of adolescent males in New Zealand. Methods: A sample of 135 adolescent males were recruited from high schools in six centres between February 2020 to April 2020. Participants completed questionnaires on demographics and dietary habits, and two multiple pass 24-hour recalls, height, and weight measurements were taken. The Multiple Source Method was used to adjust for intra-personal variation. Statistical comparisons among demographic groups were made by calculating mean differences and 95% confidence intervals between groups to see if they were statistically significantly different. Results: Mean intakes as a percentage of total energy for total, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats were 37.5%, 14.0%, 13.9%, and 5.6%, respectively. For total fat, 69.6% of participants had intakes above the recommended range. For saturated fatty acids, 3.9% of participants intakes fell within the recommended intake range, and 96.1% exceeded the recommended intake. Monounsaturated fatty acid intakes could not be compared with a recommended range due to New Zealand not having specific recommendations for this nutrient. For polyunsaturated fatty acids, 67.6% of participants fell short of the recommended intake range, while 2.0% exceeded the recommended intake. Intakes of fats by New Zealand Deprivation Index (NZDep), ethnicity, and Z-BMI (body mass index) weight categories were similar with no statistically significant differences. Poultry was the top contributor of total fat intake, providing 11.9%. The following top contributors were milk (6.7%), grains/pasta (6.7%), bread-based dishes (6.5%), cheese (5.4%), and potatoes/kumara/taro (4.9%). The top five contributors to saturated fat intake were poultry (10.8%), milk (10.2%), cheese (7.8%), bread- based dishes (6.6%), and grains/pasta (6.3%). The top five contributors to monounsaturated fat intake were poultry (14.3%), grains/pasta (6.4%), potatoes/kumara/taro (6.2%), bread-based dishes (6.1%), and nuts/seeds, (5.7%). The top five contributors to polyunsaturated fat intake were poultry (12.3%), grains/pasta (6.9%), potatoes/kumara/taro (6.7%), bread (6.4%), and bread-based dishes (6.1%). Conclusions: The current study is the most recent cross-sectional study to assess fat intakes of adolescent boys in New Zealand. Findings illustrate an excess in the intake of total and saturated fats, and low intakes of polyunsaturated fat. These results reflect the supporting literature from New Zealand and overseas. It is essential that public health initiatives focus on intake of fats, in order to combat the array of non-communicable diseases influenced by nutrition.
Advisor: Brown, Rachel
Degree Name: Master of Dietetics
Degree Discipline: Human Nutrition
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; fat; dietary; adolescent; males; teenagers; boys; food; sources; intakes; saturated; polyunsaturated; monounsaturated
Research Type: Thesis