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National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS)

Fruit stall


Aim

This survey provides a detailed picture of the diet and nutrition status of the UK population.

The latest report combines results from three years of the survey between 2012 and 2014.


Findings

Fruit and vegetables 

8% of children aged 11-18 met the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption. 27% of 19 - 64 year olds eat 5-a-day and 35% of adults aged 65 and over met the recommended amounts.

Oily fish

Consumption of oily fish was well below the recommended one portion a week for all age groups.

Red meat and processed meat

Whilst women aged 19 and above eat the recommended maximum amount of red and processed meat, men aged 19 and above exceeded the recommended amount.

Sugar sweetened soft drinks 

Consumption of soft drinks has reduced in children aged 4-10 between 2008 and 2014.  

Saturated fatty acids

Intake of saturated fatty acids continues to exceed recommended amounts for all age groups.

Non-milk extrinsic sugars  

Children aged 4 - 10 are consuming less non-milk extrinsic sugars than they were, but the intake for this age group is still above recommendation, as it is for all age groups apart from women aged 65 and over.

Non-starch polysaccharides 

Intake of NDPs was below the recommendation for all adults. 

Vitamins and minerals

11 - 18 year olds are not getting the recommended amount of Vitamin A and iron. Around a fifth of adults aged 19 - 64 had low blood levels of Vitamin D.

Iodine 

All age and sex groups met WHO criteria for adequate intake of Iodine. 

 

Methods

Around 1,600 people a year are involved in the study. Adults and children aged 18 months and above are recruited from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

We ask participants to:

  • answer some general questions about eating habits, health and lifestyle;
  • keep a food and drink diary;
  • fill out a physical activity questionnaire;
  • give urine and blood samples; and

allow us to take physical measurements such as waist and hip circumference, height, weight, and blood pressure.

Related content 

England’s changing health since the 1990s - an online tool that allows users to interact with and explore trend data from the Health Survey for England.

Read latest report