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FDA survey notes increased awareness of diet, heart disease link

SILVER SPRING, Md. Consumers who often read food labels are increasingly aware of the link between diet and heart disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration's recent Health and Diet Survey.

The survey, which was conducted in 2008 via telephone of more than 2,500 adults in every state and the District of Columbia, noted that 91% of consumers were aware of the diet-heart disease relationship, an 8% jump since 2002.

The FDA also found that awareness that trans fats in the diet may raise the risk of heart disease nearly doubled over just four years, from 32% in 2004 to 62% in the recent survey. Additionally, the majority of consumers surveyed (81%) knew that certain foods or drinks may help prevent heart disease or heart attacks, including omega-3 fatty acids (52% from 31% in 2004), and many acknowleged (74%) that saturated fat may raise the risk of heart disease.

This is the 10th such survey since 1982. The most recent previous surveys were conducted in 2002 and 2004.

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