Nutrition Survey Reveals Supplement Use in the UK

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You may have seen in the media recently that the Government has released the results from its annual National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). The survey, now in its second year, looks at the dietary habits of over 2000 men, women and children throughout the UK, including these individuals’ use of food supplements. The full report can be found via this link, survey download, for ease of reference, the short section on dietary supplements can be found on page 66.

The key point that emerged from the Survey was that "a quarter of adults aged 19 to 64 years and more than a third of adults aged 65 years and over reported taking at least one dietary supplement during the four-day recording period”. The survey also notes that a "higher proportion” of participants in the Survey had reported taking more supplements over the previous year than in the four-day recording period for the Survey itself, suggesting that the numbers above may be an underestimate.

This survey is important for two reasons: firstly it exhaustively documents the poor diet of many people in Britain. As noted in the Daily Mail article linked to above, teenagers in particular are not getting the amounts of nutrients that they need.

Secondly this Survey underlines how widespread use of supplementation is in the UK, with 25% of the population taking at least one supplement each day. This means that a large number of people daily rely on higher-dose supplements, something which can be used to bolster campaigning.


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