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Nutrition research

Northern Ireland specific

The FSA is responsible for some nutrition policy in Northern Ireland along with the Department of Health.

Last updated: 28 June 2023
Last updated: 28 June 2023

To help develop and inform nutrition policy, the FSA commission research to understand what consumers are eating, what food they are buying and their thoughts and knowledge on healthy eating and nutrition. This research is shared widely with our stakeholders. 

Food and drink consumption

National Diet and Nutrition Survey

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme is a continuous cross-sectional survey, designed to assess the diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status of the general population aged 1.5 years and over living in private households in the UK.

Food and drink shopping


The FSA commissioned Kantar Fast Moving Consumer Goods Purchase Panels (Kantar) to provide Northern Ireland purchasing data. Kantar collects data on all food and drink purchases brought into the home (including in store and online shopping). 

Food Poverty

The Cost of a Healthy Food Basket

The FSA have a role in monitoring food insecurity. Since 2014, safefood and the FSA have presented the cost of the minimum essential food basket for four household types every two years, adjusted to reflect food costs at that time. These reports demonstrate the average weekly cost of healthy food and the level of household income that may need to be spent on attaining this minimum standard. 

Consumers attitudes, knowledge and behaviour towards food

Food and You 2

Food and You 2 is our flagship survey with consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The research is conducted biannually and covers topics such as food safety in the home, food shopping, eating out, food security, healthy eating, concerns about food, and trust in the FSA and food supply chain. 

Food and You 2

Northern Ireland

Making Food Better

This research is commissioned by the FSA as part of the Making Food Better programme. The programme aims to support Northern Ireland food businesses to make the food environment healthier through reducing calories, saturated fat, sugar, and salt in the food they produce, sell or serve, reducing portion size, providing nutritional information and delivering responsible promotions.

Eating Well Choosing Better Tracking Survey 

This survey monitors consumer understanding and knowledge of recommended daily calorie intake, use of traffic light labels, attitudes towards reformulation and calorie information and awareness of campaign communications delivered by the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland.

Consumer Perceptions of Reformulation 

Independent research exploring Northern Ireland consumers’ perceptions of product reformulation (to reduce levels of sugar, saturated fat, salt) and reduction in portion size by the Northern Ireland food industry.

Northern Ireland consumer perceptions of reformulation of food

Food and Drink Manufacturers View on Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling 

The FSA commissioned independent research to explore the views of food and drink manufacturers in Northern Ireland on front of pack nutritional labelling including the impact of this labelling on manufacturers reformulation efforts.

Food and drink manufacturers views on front of pack nutritional labelling

Nutrition Sampling Research

The FSA in partnership with local councils sampled foods which are a priority for reduction and reformulation as part of the Making Food Better programme.