Background There is growing evidence that quality, rather that quantity of fat is the determinant of cardiovascular risk. The objective of the study is to describe quantitatively the intake and adequacy of fatty acid classes among the Mexican population aged 5-90 years from a probabilistic survey. Methods Dietary intake of individual and classes of fatty acids was computed from the dataset of the 2006 Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT2006), collected by a food frequency questionnaire. Adequacy was calculated in reference to authoritative recommendations. Results The mean intake of total fatty acids (TFA ≈ 25%E) fell within WHO recommendations; the intakes of saturated fatty acids (SFA) among all age-groups (45-60%) and of trans fatty acids (TrFA) in 30% of school-age children and adolescents and 20% of adults exceeded international recommendations. The mean intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and particularly of n6 and n3 PUFAS, was inadequately insufficient in 50% of the sample. Conclusions The main public health concerns are the high intake of SFA and the suboptimal intake of PUFA in Mexican population. The TrFA intake represents a low public health risk.