2007 -2009 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Background: During the past decade the presence and effects of trans fats have become much discussed topics not only among health care professionals, but among the general population. While current recommendations are that Americans consume zero grams of trans fats daily, many are consuming more than five grams.
Objectives: In a world were trans fats are being highlighted everywhere from food packages, commercials, to the nightly news the objective of this study was to determine if the attitudes and knowledge of trans fats were related to the age or gender of the person.
Subjects/setting: The effects of age and gender on attitudes and knowledge regarding trans fat consumption was investigated in 120 individuals in Kentucky. To determine knowledge and attitudes towards trans fats 42 males and 78 females were recruited to complete an anonymous survey on trans fats. Also, included in the sample were 61 of the participants under the age of 30 and 59 being over the age of 30.
Results: It was found that 76% of males, 86% of females, 80% of those under 30, and 66% of those over 30 thought there was a positive correlation between trans fats and cardiovascular disease. Also, it was found that 57% of males, 44% of females, 49% of those under 30, and 51% of those over 30 thought that restaurants should have the option of removing trans fats and opposed legislation that would make it a requirement. The average daily intakes of trans fats provided by the participants were 9.71±13.06g for males, 4.47±7.76g for females, 5.83±9.71g for those under 30, and 6.80±10.75g for those over 30. The average ranking of trans fat on a list of nutrients that participants look for first through fifth was 3.24±1.38 for males, 3.03±1.24 for females, 3.02±1.17 for those under 30, and 3.19±1.41 for those over 30.
Conclusion: The most important information learned from this research is that those in this country need to be educated more on trans fats and their role in the body as well as the daily recommendations.