UK adults and children still not eating their ‘5 A Day’, survey reveals

Posted: 23 January 2019 | | No comments yet

Consumption of fruit and veg unchanged, but red meat and sugar consumption declining.

Public Health England has published time trend and income analyses from the first nine years of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling programme (2008/09 -2016/17).
The NDNS rolling programme is a continuous cross-sectional survey, designed to assess the diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status of a representative sample of around 1,000 people per year (500 adults and 500 children) from the general population aged 18 months upwards living in private households in the UK. The NDNS comprises an interview, a four-day diet diary and collection and analysis of blood and urine samples. Results are used by government to monitor the diet and nutritional status of the population, to provide the evidence base for policy development and to track progress towards public health nutrition objectives such as reducing intakes of sugar, calories, saturated fat and salt and increasing intakes of fibre.
Key findings include that mean consumption of fruit and vegetable portions was unchanged between 2008/09 and 2016/17 for adults and children aged 11 to 18 years and was consistently below the 5 A Day recommendation in both groups. There was evidence of a fall in fruit juice consumption over this period in most age groups. 
Consumption of red and processed meat showed a downward trend. For adults aged 19 to 64 years, consumption declined by 19g over nine years from 2008/09 to 2016/17. For children aged 11 to18 years there was a decline of 15g and adults 65 years and over 11g over the same period. Mean consumption for adult men remained above the recommended maximum of 70g/day. There was also a downward trend in consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks in all age groups. The percentage consuming over the four days of the survey fell between 2008/09 and 2016/17 by 26 percentage points for children aged 1½ to 3 years, 35 percentage points for children aged four  to 10 years and 17 percentage points for children aged 11-18 years. There was a smaller reduction of 13 percentage points in adults 19 to 64 years. 

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