Age and time trends in fish consumption pattern of children and adolescents, and consequences for the intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep; 63(9):1071-5.EJ
There is a lack of detailed data on fish consumption in European children and adolescents. We therefore investigated fish consumption patterns, portion sizes and estimated intakes of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA; eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid).
From the Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed study between 1985 and 2006, yearly 3-day weighed dietary records (N=7152) from 1024 subjects (2-18 years, 49% males) were evaluated.
On 14% of total recorded days fish consumption from 33 different species was documented. In the total sample (in the subgroup with fish intake), mean fish intake almost doubled from 5 to 14 g per day (from 15 to 37 g per day) within the age range. Mean portions of fish increased from 40 to 89 g per portion, predominantly from low-fat fish species. In the total sample mean long-chain (LC) n-3 PUFA intake increased with age from 42 to 141 mg per day (100-324 mg per day in the subgroup with fish intake). Without any fish consumption in the recording period, n-3 LC PUFA intake ranged below 20 mg per day. Within the 20-year time frame, the frequency of fish consumption increased significantly (P<0.0282) from 35% at the start in 1985 to 40% in 2005.
Fish consumption-even with low intakes as observed here-improves LC n-3 PUFA considerably. Owing to the very low preference for high-fat fish in our sample, the potential of fish intake as an LC n-3 PUFA source was not considered.