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Saturated fat (Indicator 15)

Published


The indicator describes the following: Mean proportion of total energy intake from saturated fat in persons aged 18+ years.


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The energy content of food comes from fat, carbohydrates and proteins. The indicator describes the proportion of the diet’s total energy content that is derived from saturated fat.

Results

Saturated fat comprised 13 per cent of total energy intake in men and women. This is shown by data from the national dietary study Norkost that was conducted in 2010-11. The recommendation is for energy intake from saturated fat not to exceed 10 per cent. We eat more saturated fat than is recommended.

In order to observe trends over time, we have to use rough estimates from Norwegian food supply data. The data on nutritional content at the wholesale level show that the proportion of dietary energy coming from saturated fat decreased from 16 per cent to 14 per cent from 1975 to 1990. There was a subsequent increase to 16 per cent in 2013 and thereafter a decline to 14 per cent in 2014 and 2015.

  • Public Health Report: Diet

Data sources 

The data sources for this indicator are the National Dietary Surveys (Norkost) and data from Norwegian Food Supply Data published in the report “Developments in the Norwegian Diet”.

The results of the Tromsø Study and the HUNT Study will be published at a later date.

A description and definitions follow below.

Data source: The National Dietary Surveys (Norkost)

Description 

The national dietary surveys of adults (Norkost) provide data at the individual level about the intake of food and drink among a nationally representative sample of the population of Norway. National dietary surveys were conducted among adults in 1993, 1997 and 2010-11 under the direction of the Department of Nutrition at the University of Oslo, in collaboration with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Norwegian Directorate of Health. 

Norkost 3 was conducted in 2010-11 among a nationally representative sample of adults aged 18-70 and with a 37 per cent participation rate (a total of 1787 people participated). The method used was a combination of repeated 24-hour dietary recall interviews and a food propensity questionnaire. The next Norkost study is planned for approximately 10 years after Norkost 3

The data for the indicator come from Norkost 3, a nationally representative dietary survey of men and women in Norway aged 18-70, 2010-11.

Link: Norkost 3 (in Norwegian) 

Effect measure

  • Mean proportion of total energy intake from saturated fat in people aged 18+.

The age distribution of the population has not been taken into account here. This means that the data are currently not age-standardised.

Interpretation and sources of error

The results are based on two 24-hour dietary recall interviews with 862 men and 925 women, and do not include dietary supplements. Since the intake for each person is the average of two days of data collection, this does not provide a sufficient basis on which to comment on the individual’s normal intake. 

Data source: Norwegian Food Supply Data

Description 

Norwegian Food Supply Data provide information at the wholesale level regarding net supply of foodstuffs in kilograms per capita per year. Figures from Norwegian Food Supply Data are presented in the annual report “Developments in the Norwegian Diet” published by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

Link: Developments in the Norwegian Diet 2016 Report (in Norwegian)

Effect measure

  • Wholesale level data on net supply of foodstuffs in kilograms per capita per year.

Interpretation and sources of error

The data provide rough estimates and do not provide information on the proportions consumed by adults, children and domestic animals respectively, or on the proportion thrown away. 

Global indicator definition 

Indicator 15. Age-standardised mean proportion of total energy intake from saturated fatty acids in persons aged 18+ years. 

National adaptation to global indicators

The data shown from the National Dietary Survey of adults, Norkost 3 are not age-standardised. 

Authors and contacts

Text compiled by the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The Department of Nutrition at the University of Oslo provided the basis for the data.