Fish consumption and use of omega 3 supplements in a sample of older Australians

Jessica Grieger, Michelle Miller, Lynne Cobiac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Despite the established health benefits of fish, particularly long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, data on fish intake and the use of fish oil supplements in adult Australian is not well documented. In a sample of Australian adults aged ≥51 years, the aims were to determine: (i) the current intake of finfish/seafood and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids; (ii) the percentage meeting current Heart Foundation recommendations for long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intakes; and (iii) the percentage consuming omega 3 supplements. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey. Eight hundred and fifty-four Australians aged ≥51 years completed the survey online or by computer-assisted telephone interview. The survey included the quantitative fish frequency questionnaire and open- and closed-ended survey questions on demographics and supplement usage. Results: The mean frequency of finfish/seafood consumption was 1.7 times per week (median intake 173g). Thirteenpercent (n = 112) consumed finfish/seafood never/<1 per month and were considered 'low consumers'; 34% ate any type of finfish/seafood ≥2 times per week. Excluding the low consumers, the mean (±standard deviation) daily intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was 508 ± 855mg and 28% consumed the recommended intake of 500mg/day from finfish/seafood alone. Forty-threepercent consumed omega 3 supplements. Conclusions: Current fish consumption in older Australians is low and many do not meet the current recommendations. A further understanding of why many older adults consume low amounts of finfish/seafood is necessary. Strategies to enhance intake to meet dietary recommendations in this older age group are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Fish intake
  • Long-chain omega-3
  • Older adult
  • Omega 3 supplement

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