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National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Years 1-4

Northern Ireland specific
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) estimates food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional status of the general population aged 18 months upwards living in the UK. Boosted samples were gathered 2008 – 2012 to achieve representative data specific for Northern Ireland (NI).
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Key findings

  • Fruit and vegetable consumption in Northern Ireland was significantly lower than in the UK as a whole. 82% of adults, 77% of older adults and 96% of children aged 11 to 18 years in Northern Ireland did not meet the five-a-day recommendation.
  • Mean intakes of non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) were significantly lower than those in the UK as a whole and for adults, were below the recommended level of 18g per day.
  • Mean consumption of oil-rich fish was well below the recommended one, 140g portion per week and significantly lower than in the UK as a whole.

  • Mean consumption of red and processed meat for men and boys aged 11 to 18 years exceeded the current maximum recommendation for adults.
  • Mean intakes of saturated fat exceeded recommendations in all age groups and were similar to or slightly higher than mean intakes in the UK as a whole.
  • A third of adults aged 19 to 64 years in Northern Ireland had low blood levels of vitamin D, a higher proportion than in the UK as a whole.
  • The lowest income group had lower fruit and vegetable consumption than those in the highest income group.  They also had lower intakes of NSP and some vitamins and minerals.

National diet and nutrition survey for Northern Ireland: appendices and tables

The results for NI were released on 12 February 2015 as an Official Statistic and updated on 29 August 2017. The original published version of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey Report for Northern Ireland is available in the National Archives.