In countries with traditionally low fish consumption such as Australia, foods enriched with ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 LCPUFA) may play a role in meeting ω-3 LCPUFA intakes for optimal health. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of replacing bread, egg, milk, and yogurt with ω-3 LCPUFA enrichment of these foods on total ω-3 LCPUFA intake in Australian children's diets.
Dietary modeling was undertaken using survey data from a nationally representative sample of 4487 children (2249 boys, 2238 girls) ages 2 to 16 y in whom the Multiple Source Method was used to estimate usual ω-3 LPUFA intakes distributions from two 24-h dietary recalls, corrected for within-person variation; 15 models were constructed.
The adjusted mean ± SD and median and interquartile range (IQR) of usual dietary intakes of ω-3 LCPUFA gradually increased from 2.5 ± 0.8 to 7.1 ± 4.9 mg/d and 2.3 (1.9–2.9) to 5.4 (3.6–9.2), respectively, after the modeling (P = 0.001 for each model). Median (IQR) intake of total ω-3 LCPUFAs in non-fish eaters and fish eaters was 1.4 (0.8–2.3) and 2.3 (1.0–6.1) mg/d, respectively, which increased threefold to 4.3 (2.6–7.8) and 7.5 (3.9–13) mg/d, respectively, after replacement of all four ω-3 enriched foods.
Replacement of four core foods with ω-3 enriched alternatives resulted in improved simulated ω-3 LCPUFA intakes in Australian children but not to optimal levels of intake. Increased fish consumption is still the most effective strategy for increasing ω-3 LCPUFA intake.