Measuring Trans Fats in Native American Adolescents

Madelyn Jayne Bradley, Justin Do, Juleene A. Moritz, Shasha Zheng


Obesity is becoming increasingly prevalent among US adolescents due to various factors such as food preference, availability, and social condition: however, rates of obesity in Native American adolescents are comparatively much higher than their counterparts as differences of as much as 7.2% have been reported between Native American and white adolescents. Given extensive study highlighting the highly harmful effects to overall health that consuming trans fats has been linked to, this study investigated the dietary intake levels of trans fats by Native American adolescents and explored the implications in regard to their health in terms of BMI. This was done by collecting macronutrient intake levels of adolescents aged 14-18 at Sherman Indian High School.  This information was collected from participants using the Harvard School of Public Health Adolescent Questionnaire (HSPH YAQ) for an eight-week period, the data then sorted participants into appropriate dietary groups using statistical software from Cal Baptist University (CBU). The results of the analysis indicated that there was a statistically significant difference in mean trans fats intake between no risk groups (normal and underweight) and at-risk groups (overweight and obese) (p≤0.05) in male adolescents, however statistically significant findings for Native American female adolescents were not observed. This suggests that trans fats intake could be contributing to the high levels of obesity among Native American adolescents. Furthermore, it is of note that this study shows that production and consumption of trans fats are still happening on a day-to-day basis, and a continued effort must be made to eliminate all foods with trans fats from being manufactured and distributed.


Bullock A, Sheff K, Moore K, Manson S. Obesity and overweight in American Indian and Alaska native children, 2006-2015. American journal of public health 2017; 107:9.

Bhardwaj S, Passi J, Misra A. Overview of trans fatty acids: Biochemistry and health effects. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome. Clinical research & reviews 2011; 5: 161–164.

Carvalho C, Moura S, Roquetto R, Amaya-Farfan J, Barrera-Arellano D, Yamada T, Santos D, Saad A. Impact of trans-fats on heat-shock protein expression and the gut microbiota profile of mice. Journal of food science 2018; 83: 489–498.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1991-2019). High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, February 26). Prevalence of Obesity Among Youths by Household Income and Education Level of Head of Household - United States 2011–2014.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2019, June 24). Childhood Obesity Facts.

Collison K, Zaidi M, Maqbool Z, Saleh S, Inglis A, Makhoul N, Bakheet R, Shoukri M, Al-Mohanna A. Sex-dimorphism in cardiac nutrigenomics: effect of trans fat and/or monosodium glutamate consumption. BMC genomics 2011; 12: 555.

Dai H, Ramirez G, Zheng S. Dietary mineral measurements in normal versus obese Native American adolescents. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities 2020; 7: 769-775.

Doyle K. Americans eating less trans-fat, but still too much. Healthcare and Pharma 2014.

Eckel R, Kris-Etherton P, Lichtenstein A, Wylie-Rosett J, Groom A, Stitzel K, Yin-Piazza S. American’s awareness, knowledge, and behaviors regarding fats: 2006-2007. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2009; 109: 2.

Hales C, Carroll M, Fryar C, Ogden C. Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017; 288.

Harvard Medical School. The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between. Harvard health publishing 2018.

Pattanayak, S. Trans-fats of processed and fried foods – a choice for taste or serious health problems? Explor Anim Med res 2019; 9: 5-14.

Pinna K, Rolfes R, Whitney E. (2018). Understanding normal and clinical nutrition. (11th ed.). Boston, MA; Cengage Learning.

U.S. Office of Minority Health. (2020). Obesity and American Indians/Alaska Natives.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Journal of Public Health Science (IJPHS)
p-ISSN: 2252-8806, e-ISSN: 2620-4126

View IJPHS Stats

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