Inadequate daily intakes of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the general French population of children (3-10 years) and adolescents (11-17 years): the INCA2 survey.


PG Consulting, 13 villa Bellevue, 91440, Bures sur Yvette, France. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : This paper deals with the dietary daily intakes of main polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in French children and adolescents.
METHODS : Dietary intakes of main PUFA were determined from a general French population of 1500 children (3-10 years) and adolescents (11-17 years) by using the most recent set of national robust data on food (National Survey INCA 2 performed in 2006 and 2007).
RESULTS : Main results showed that mean daily intakes of total fat and n-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6) were close to current recommended values for children and adolescent populations. However, 80% (children) to 90% (adolescents) of our French populations not only ingested low quantities of n-3 long-chain PUFA (docosahexaenoic (22:6n-3) and eicosapentaenoic (20:5n-3) acids) but also very low quantities of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3) at the origin of a non-balanced n-6/n-3 ratio. Inadequate consumption of EPA + DHA was also observed in subgroups of infants and adolescent who consumed more than two servings/week of fish.
CONCLUSIONS : Such disequilibrium in PUFA dietary intakes in favor of n-6 PUFA could have adverse impact on cell membrane incorporation of long-chain n-3 PUFA and deleterious impacts on the health of children and adolescents. Promoting the consumption of both vegetable oils and margarines rich in ALA, and oily fish rich in long-chain n-3 PUFA might improve such PUFA disequilibrium.


Adolescents,Children,Dietary intake,France,Polyunsaturated fatty acids,