UMMS Affiliation

Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems

Publication Date


Document Type



Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Lipids | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms


The American Heart Association (AHA) dietary guidelines recommend 30(-)35% of energy intake (%E) be from total fat, < 7%E from saturated fatty acids (SFA), and < 1%E from trans fatty acid (TFA). This study evaluates the effect of AHA dietary counselling on fat intake. Between 2009 and 2014, 119 obese adults with metabolic syndrome (MetS), (71% women, average 52.5 years of age, and 34.9 kg/m(2) of body mass index), received individual and group counselling on the AHA diet, over a one-year study period. Each participant attended 2 individual sessions (months 1 and 12) and 12 group sessions, at one-month intervals. At baseline and one-year, we collected three random 24-h diet recalls (two weekdays and one weekend day). Fat intake patterns over time were analyzed using paired-t test and linear mixed-effect models. There was significant variation on SFA and TFA intake per meal, being highest at dinner, in restaurants, and on weekends. Over the one-year study period, daily intake of total fat, SFA, and TFA decreased by 27%, 37% and 41%, respectively (p-value < 0.01, each). Correspondingly, the percentage of participants complying with AHA's recommendations, increased from 25.2% to 40.2% for total fat (p-value = 0.02); from 2.5% to 20.7% for SFA (p-value < 0.01); and from 45.4% to 62% for TFA (p-value = 0.02). Additionally, SFA intake for all meal types at home decreased significantly (p-value < 0.05, each). AHA dietary counselling significantly increased the compliance with AHA dietary guidelines, with an eightfold increase in compliance in SFA intake. Nonetheless, ~80% of our participants still exceeded the recommended SFA intake. Substantial efforts are needed to encourage low-SFA and low-TFA food preparation at home, with strong public health policies to decrease SFA and TFA in restaurants and prepared foods.


American Heart Association (AHA) diet, fatty acids, metabolic syndrome

Rights and Permissions

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

DOI of Published Version



Nutrients. 2018 Oct 12;10(10). pii: nu10101486. doi: 10.3390/nu10101486. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.