Fat in today’s food supply—Level of use and sources


Nutrient fat—food fats and oils, as well as fat from meat, milk, and other fat containing foods—in the U.S. food supply has increased ca. one-fourth over the past 60 years or so on a per person/day basis. Ca. two-fifths of the fat currently comes from fats and oils, including butter; over a third comes from meat (including fat pork cuts), poultry, and fish; and ca. one-eight comes from dairy products. This large increase in nutrient fat is due mainly to the use of more vegetable fats—margarine, shortening, and salad and cooking oils. The per capita amount provided by animal fats actually has decreased, because the large decreases in consumption of butter and lard are only partly offset by increases in fat associated with greater consumption of meats. Despite the decrease in consumption of animal fats, they continue to provide ca. one-fourth of the total calories. Although the proportion of calories from vegetable fats has increased, animal products still account for the largest share of the calories provided by fat. Shifts in sources of fat and the increased amount of fat have changed the fatty acid content of the food supply.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, “Food Consumption, Prices, and Expenditures,” Agricultural Economic Report 138, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., 1968, and supplement for 1971.

  2. 2.

    Kromer, G.W., in “Fats and Oils Situation,” FOS-267, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., April 1973, pp. 16–23.

  3. 3.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, “Food and Nutrient Intake of Individuals in the United States,” Spring 1965, Household Food Consumption Survey 1965–66, Report No. 11, Washington, D.C., 1972, 291 pp.

Download references

Author information



Additional information

One of five papers presented at the symposium, “Status of Fat in Food and Nutrition,” AOCS Fall Meeting, Chicago, September 1973.


About this article

Cite this article

Rizek, R.L., Friend, B. & Page, L. Fat in today’s food supply—Level of use and sources. J Am Oil Chem Soc 51, 244–250 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02642629

Download citation


  • Dairy Product
  • Total Calorie
  • Total Saturated Fatty Acid
  • Lean Pork
  • National Food Supply