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.