NEWS19 January 2018

NatCen and MRC to deliver national diet survey

Healthcare News UK

UK – The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge have won the contract to run the next four years of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling programme.

Healthy diet_crop

NatCen has delivered the first 10 years of this survey in conjunction with the MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory (formerly MRC Human Nutrition Research).

The survey – which is funded by Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency – assesses the diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status of adults and children aged 18 months and over living in private households in the UK.

The nationally representative survey is used by policy makers, healthcare professionals, charities and academics to identify and address nutritional public health and food safety issues.

NatCen’s interviewers and nurses visit 1,000 people per year, collecting diaries of food intake as well as objective measurements including blood samples to record nutrient levels and waist and hip circumference to identify abdominal obesity.

The MRC Epidemiology Unit will deliver the dietary intake and nutritional biomarker assessment and it will also lead on moving to an alternative dietary assessment method to match technological developments in the area.

Gillian Prior, head of health and biomedical research at NatCen said: “It is testament to the hard work of the consortium’s nurses, interviewers and researchers that we have been awarded the NDNS contract for another four years. This survey is vital for understanding the nutritional status and food consumption behaviours of the population, and we are delighted to be continuing our work alongside Cambridge researchers.”