Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Intake by Ethnicity, Income, and Education Level in the United States: NHANES 2003–2014
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072045
Although there are many recognized health benefits for the consumption of omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), intake in the United States remains below recommended amounts. This analysis was designed to provide an updated assessment of fish and n-3 LCPUFA intake (eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and EPA+DHA) in the United States adult population, based on education, income, and race/ethnicity, using data from the 2003-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (n = 44,585). Over this survey period, participants with less education and lower income had significantly lower n-3 LCPUFA intakes and fish intakes (p < 0.001 for all between group comparisons). N-3 LCPUFA intake differed significantly according to ethnicity (p < 0.001), with the highest intake of n-3 LCPUFA and fish in individuals in the "Other" category (including Asian Americans). Supplement use increased EPA + DHA intake, but only 7.4% of individuals consistently took supplements. Overall, n-3 LCPUFA intake in this study population was low, but our findings indicate that individuals with lower educational attainment and income are at even higher risk of lower n-3 LCPUFA and fish intake.