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Polish diet: Do young adults in Warsaw need nutrition counseling?

It is well established that high consumption of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol increases the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. It is also known that the atheromatous plaque formation starts in young age.

The aim of our study: To investigate: 1) the consumption of saturated fatty acids in young adults born 1974-77, 2) to establish main sources of saturated fatty acids in their diets.
 
Materials and methods: The study was done on young adults (n=439), 194 males, and 245 females) born in one district of Warsaw in 1974-77. Consumption of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol was estimated by means of a dietary frequency questionnaire.
 
Results: 65.6% of the participants overconsumed saturated fatty acids (>10% of energy). Overconsumption of cholesterol (>300mg daily) was found in 37.8% of the participants. In the diet of the whole group the main sources of SFA were cheese, sweets, meat products, butter and cream, fatty milk and milk drinks, and fatty cottage cheese (Tab. 1).
 
Conclusions: 1) Large proportion (65.6%) of the young adults showed overconsumption of SFA. 2) Nutritional education in young population is required. The main emphasis should be put on reduction of consumption of butter and cream, fatty milk and milk products, fatty meat products, and sweets. Consumption of low fat milk and lean meat products should be promoted.
 
Tab. 1 Sources of saturated fatty acids (SFA) in diets in the whole group

Products

% of the whole SFA consumption

cheese
sweets
meat products
butter and cream
fatty milk and milk drinks
fatty cottage cheese
lard
meat
eggs
fast foods
others

21.9
15.1
14.5
14.3
13.8
10.8
2.4
2.4
1.8
0.2
2.8


A. Cichocka, D. Szostak-Wegierek,
National Food and Nutrition Institute, Poland
K. Szamotulska
National Research Institute for Mother and Child, Poland


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