High saturated fat intake is an established risk factor for several chronic diseases. The objective of the present study is to report dietary intakes and main food sources of fat and fatty acids (FA) from the first year of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling programme in the UK. Dietary data were collected using 4 d estimated food diaries (n 896) and compared with dietary reference values (DRV) and previous NDNS results. Total fat provided 34-36% food energy (FE) across all age groups, which was similar to previous surveys for adults. Men (19-64 years) and older girls (11-18 years) had mean intakes just above the DRV, while all other groups had mean total fat intakes of < 35% FE. SFA intakes were lower compared with previous surveys, ranging from 13 to 15% FE, but still above the DRV. Mean MUFA intakes were 12•5% FE for adults and children aged 4-18 years and all were below the DRV. Mean n-3 PUFA intake represented 0•7-1•1% FE. Compared with previous survey data, the direction of change for n-3 PUFA was upwards for all age groups, although the differences in absolute terms were very small. Trans-FA intakes were lower than in previous NDNS and were less than 2 g/d for all age groups, representing 0•8% FE and lower than the DRV in all age groups. In conclusion, dietary intake of fat and FA is moving towards recommended levels for the UK population. However, there remains room for considerable further improvement. © 2011 The Authors.