Health benefits have been attributed to omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA). Therefore it is important to know if Australians are currently meeting the recommended intake for n-3 LCPUFA and if they have increased since the last National Nutrition Survey in 1995 (NNS 1995). Dietary intake data was obtained from the recent 2011-2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (2011-2012 NNPAS). Linoleic acid (LA) intakes have decreased whilst alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) and n-3 LCPUFA intakes have increased primarily due to n-3 LCPUFA supplements. The median n-3 LCPUFA intakes are less than 50% of the mean n-3 LCPUFA intakes which highlights the highly-skewed n-3 LCPUFA intakes, which shows that there are some people consuming high amounts of n-3 LCPUFA, but the vast majority of the population are consuming much lower amounts. Only 20% of the population meets the recommended n-3 LCPUFA intakes and only 10% of women of childbearing age meet the recommended docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake. Fish and seafood is by far the richest source of n-3 LCPUFA including DHA.

PMID: 26927162

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