National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS)

Eat well

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) gathers information on food intakes and nutritional status from a random sample of households throughout the UK.

Principal Researchers:

NDNS is a collaborative study involving the Health Surveys team of the HSSRG at UCL (University College London), NatCen Social Research, the MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory (MRC EWL)(previously known as Human Nutrition Research Unit), and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Please note: UCL team retain expertise but are no longer involved in this study.

Commissioned by the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency, this survey provides information on the diet and nutrition status of the UK population. 1000 to 1500 adults and children aged 18 months and above take part in this survey each year from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The main aims of the NDNS survey are:

  • to provide annual data about the nation's dietary intake and nutritional status
  • to estimate the proportion of individuals with compromised nutritional status
  • to estimate the proportions attaining recommended intakes

The main components of the survey are:

  • general questions about eating habits, health, and lifestyle
  • assessment of diet and fluid intake
  • physical activity questionnaire
  • basic measurements including height, weight and blood pressure
  • urine and blood samples

These data play an important role in helping to protect consumer safety and promote dietary health and are used to monitor progress towards targets related to healthy eating set by the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency. Fieldwork for Year 5 of the rolling NDNS commenced in April 2011.

  • Further details on the content and findings of the survey can be found at the Department of Health website.

Page last modified on 03 aug 17 16:02