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        National diet and nutrition survey: food consumption from the first year of the rolling programme
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        National diet and nutrition survey: food consumption from the first year of the rolling programme
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The first year of dietary data collection of the new National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling programme funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department of Health (DH) and was carried out from February 2008 to March 2009, covering the age range 1.5 years and above. Data was collected in the form of a 4-day-estimated food diary, including both weekend days; nutrient intakes were calculated using DINO (Data In Nutrients Out), a dietary assessment system developed at MRC Human Nutrition Research, incorporating the FSA's Nutrient Databank. Results were compared with dietary intake data from the NDNS of young people 4–18 years, carried out in 1997, and of adults 19–64 years, carried out in 2000–01(1, 2). The 7-d intake data from these surveys were recalculated for 4 days to allow direct comparisons(3). Differences in the results from past NDNS surveys are observed differences, not statistically significant differences.

Although white bread remained the major type of bread consumed, consumption was lower than in previous surveys for all age groups aged 4 years and above. There was little change in the average consumption of wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereals, but there was an increase in the percentage of those 4–10 years consuming these foods. Average consumption of pasta, rice and other cereals (including pizza) was higher than seen previously, with an average daily consumption of 129 g/d for boys aged 11 to 18 years and over 80 g/d for younger boys (4–10 years) and men, which may be contributing to the reduction in bread consumption. Milk consumption across all groups was lower than seen in previous surveys. The largest decreases were in adults; from 195 g/d previously to 120 g/d for women and from 225 g/d to 165 g/d for men. Semi-skimmed remained the most commonly consumed milk covering age groups 4 years and above. Previously, butter was the most commonly consumed fat spread; this has now been replaced by reduced fat (41–72%) spreads. Many fat spreads have been reformulated in recent years to reduce the fat content. Chicken, turkey and dishes containing these remained the most commonly consumed meat source. The total consumption of meat and meat dishes increased in all age and sex groups compared to previous surveys. This change was highest in younger children (4–10 years). In the UK, Sundays remain a day with a high meat intake, most likely due to Sunday lunch, and so this observed increase may be explained by the inclusion of two weekend days. As in previous surveys, coated or fried white fish was the most commonly consumed fish across all groups. The mean consumption of fish was slightly higher for younger children and adults compared with previous surveys. The total consumption of fruit and vegetables (excluding contribution from composite dishes) in adults was very similar to results from previous surveys, 234 g/d in men (216 g previously) and 253 g/d in women (238 g previously). Vegetable consumption was higher in younger children and in adult women compared to previous surveys. Fruit consumption was higher in younger children and also in older boys (11–18) compared to the previous survey, but not in older girls or adults. For adults, the consumption of sugar, preserves and sweet spreads, which includes table sugar, was reduced from the previous survey, with no change in chocolate or sugar confectionery, whereas children in all age groups had a lower average consumption of chocolate confectionery than previously. Consumption of crisps and savoury snacks in children 4–10 years was lower than in the previous survey but little changed in older children and adults. Fruit juice consumption was increased from past surveys in all groups except for women and older girls, while there was a substantial drop in the consumption of all soft drinks in younger children.

Results from the first year of the NDNS rolling programme indicate some changing trends in food consumption in the UK, generally in a direction in line with dietary recommendations, particularly in the younger age groups. Further analysis between the first year of NDNS and previous surveys will reveal any other trend present.

1.Gregory, JR, Lowe, S, Bates, CJ et al. (2000). National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Young People Aged 4 to 18 Years. Volume 1: Report of the Diet and Nutrition Survey. London: TSO.
2.Henderson, L, Gregory, J & Swan, G (2002) National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Adults Aged 19 to 64 Years. Volume 2: Energy, Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat and Alcohol Intake. London: TSO.
3.Food Standards Agency. Appendix K Conversion of Previous Survey Data to Four-Day Estimates. Available online at http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/publication/ndns0809appendixk.pdf (accessed 1 March 2010).