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DEFRA Family Food Survey

A DEFRA Family Food Survey was published on 13 December. The report presents statistics on food and drink purchases by UK households in 2011 and compares levels with previous years.  It also converts purchases into estimates of average energy and nutrient intakes. The latest report suggests that food has been exerting greater pressure on household budgets since 2007. 

This is reflected by UK households buying less bread (5.8% reduction), lamb, beef, fish, fruit, vegetables, potatoes and alcoholic drinks. Energy intake from household food and drink in 2011 showed a statistically significant reduction; however, the percentage of food and drink energy (excluding alcohol) derived from NMES and saturated fatty acids continues to exceed Dietary Reference Values. The report also shows that sodium intake is on a downward trend. UK households purchased an average of 4.0 portions of fruit and vegetables per person per day in 2011 while households in the lowest income group purchased an average of 2.9 portions.

This represents an average of 10 per cent fewer purchases in 2011 than 2007 with the lowest income households faring even worse. The report suggests that eating out has been in decline with energy intake from eating out 4.9 per cent lower in 2011 than in 2008, although this was attributed mainly to reductions in free school meals and work provided meals. The Family Food Survey is part of the Living Costs and Food Survey and measures all food that is brought into the household, including home grown fruit and vegetables. It also covers all food bought and eaten away from the home.

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