The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) is 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. The NDNS is jointly funded by Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the Department of Health, and the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and carried out by a consortium of three organisations: NatCen Social Research (NatCen), MRC Human Nutrition Research (HNR) and the University College London Medical School (UCL).
The NDNS provides the only source of high quality nationally representative data on the types and quantities of foods consumed by individuals, from which estimates of nutrient intake for the population are derived. Results are used by Government to develop policy and monitor progress on diet and nutrition objectives of UK health departments, for example those set out in the Healthy Lives, Healthy People white paper in England.
The food consumption data are also used by FSA to assess exposure to chemicals in food, as part of the risk assessment and communication process in response to a food emergency or to inform negotiations on setting regulatory limits for contaminants.