Fats and fatty acids in human nutrition

Joint FAO/WHO expert consultation

Date: 10-14 November 2008
Venue: Geneva, Switzerland

FAO and WHO are planning to hold an expert consultation on fats and fatty acids in human nutrition in the last quarter of 2008. The first expert consultation on Fats and Oils in Human Nutrition was held in 1977. A second expert consultation on the subject was held in 1993, with the subsequent report of the consultation being published in 1994. There have been many developments in the field in the intervening fourteen years, and the 1994 report and recommendations need to be critically reviewed and updated where necessary.

The main purpose of the expert consultation will be to review the scientific data in order to update human nutrient intake values for fats and fatty acids, and to provide internationally valid recommendations.

The specific objectives of the expert consultation are to:

  • Review the scientific evidence to determine, based on a set of agreed-upon criteria, nutrient requirements for total fat and fatty acids for different life stages (infants, children, adolescents, adults, older people, pregnancy and lactation).
  • Assess the risk to adequate growth, development and maintenance of health from insufficient intake of total fat and fatty acids.
  • Assess the risks and health effects of excessive intakes of fat and fatty acids, in particular, total fat, saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids.
  • Assess the risks and benefits associated with particular aspects of dietary fat and provide recommendations based on a review of this body of scientific evidence.