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National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS)

Fruit stall


The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) is jointly funded by Public Health England and the UK Food Standards Agency. The NDNS provides the only source of nationally representative UK data on the types and quantities of foods consumed by individuals. This enables us to see a detailed picture of the diet and nutrition status of the UK population. Results are used by government to monitor progress toward diet and nutrition objectives of UK Health Departments and to develop policy interventions.

The latest report combines results from the first 9 years of the survey (2008/09 to 2016/17).


Fruit and vegetables 

The consumption of fruit and vegetables by adults and children remained below the 5 A Day recommendation in all years.

Oily fish

The mean for the consumption of oily fish remained well below the recommended level in all age groups.

Red meat and processed meat

For adults aged 19-64 years, consumption of red meat and processed meat showed a downward trend over the 9 years.

Sugar-sweetened soft drinks 

Over the 9 years, the proportion of children consuming sugar-sweetened soft drinks fell significantly. For those children who drank sugar-sweetened soft drinks, intake also fell significantly over the 9 years. Despite this, average intakes in all age and sex groups continued to exceed recommendations.

Saturated fatty acids

Whilst there was no trend in the intake of saturated fatty acids (as a percentage of energy) over the 9 years, there was a significant reduction in intakes of trans fatty acids over the same period.

Vitamins and minerals

There was a downward trend in intakes of most vitamins and minerals for most age groups. Over the 9 years, mean folate intake for girls aged 11 to 18 years dropped and remained below recommendations.


Individuals aged 18 months and above are recruited from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Around 1,200 people a year take part in the study each year.

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.

Read latest report