Nutritional insufficiencies and obesity in women of childbearing age in an affluent nation; findings from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (NDNS-RP).

Abstract Number Theme Presentation Type Cover Approved
0300 Prevalence and risk factors for micronutrient status(deficiency, overload) Poster Not Approved


Abstract Content


Previous NDNS have shown some women (especially those of childbearing age) in the UK to be at risk of micronutrient malnutrition despite abundant food availability. Years 1-4 of the NDNS-RP (2008-2012) provide updated estimates.


The NDNS-RP provides representative data on diet and nutritional status for the UK population, for a randomly selected sample, using complex survey design, of 6,828 (2008-2012) including 1571 women 19-64y. Participants provided a 4-day diet diary, anthropometric measurements, and blood and urine samples for micronutrient status assessment.


4.7% of women showed evidence of substantial iron deficiency as indicated by low ferritin and haemoglobin concentrationsMean 25-OHD concentration in women was 47.3nmol/L with 21.7% below 25nmol/L 68.4% of women had EGRAC above the conventional threshold (1.30) indicating vitamin B2 insufficiencyDeficiencies of vitamins A, B1 (ETKAC), C and E were rare in this population For women of childbearing age mean red blood cell folate concentration was 614nmol/L, i.e. below the limit recommended to minimise the risk of neural tube defects in offspring Calcium, folate and iron intake was significantly lower in women in lower-income groups29% of women were obese (BMI >30); intake of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and folate was lower in obese or overweight women than in normal-weight women


Despite public health interventions (e.g. folate supplementation) and concerns around overconsumption of energy, micronutrient deficiencies continue to be a challenge among UK women. Future NDNS-RP reports will provide iodine status in the UK and any changes to the above measures over time.

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