Nutrition Survey

The Ministry of Health runs national nutrition surveys for adults and children, to collect information on the food and nutrient intake of New Zealanders.

Nutrition is a vitally important part of people’s lifestyle, and can affect our health. The survey results are used to develop, monitor and improve health and nutrition policies and services, both nationally and locally.

Adult Nutrition Surveys were carried out by the Ministry of Health in 1997 and 2008/09. A National Children’s Nutrition Survey was carried out in 2002. Two other nutrition surveys have been conducted in New Zealand – one in 1977 by the National Heart Foundation and also the 1989 Life in New Zealand Study conducted by the Hillary Commission.

Overview

The New Zealand Nutrition Survey comprises separate adult and child surveys: the New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey and the New Zealand Child Nutrition Survey.

These surveys collect detailed information on food and nutrient intake and nutritional status of New Zealanders. This information is needed to monitor food and nutrition policies and guidelines, labelling and safety, and for dietary modelling (enabling risk assessment and the development of regulations relating to food composition such as mandatory fortification).

The surveys collect information on:

  • food and nutrient intake (including dietary supplements)
  • factors influencing dietary intake (including food preparation practices and household food security)
  • nutritional status
  • nutrition-related health status, using a combination of interviews and examinations.

The surveys include an interviewer-administered 24-hour dietary recall, health questionnaires, as well as a biological component. The examination component included anthropometric measurements (eg, height and weight), blood pressure measurement, and blood and urine samples.

There have been two Adult Nutrition Surveys: in 1997 and more recently in 2008/09. A National Children’s Nutrition Survey was carried out in 2002.

2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey

The 2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey (ANS) collected information on food consumption, nutrient intake and biochemical nutrient levels in New Zealand adults aged 15+ years. The survey was carried out from October 2008 to October 2009.

Details of the procedures and protocols followed in the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey can be found in the Methodology Report for the 2008/09 NZ Adult Nutrition Survey.

The survey questionnaire can be found on the following webpage: A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings from the 2008/09 NZ Adult Nutrition Survey

Selected data tables from the survey can be found on the following webpage: 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey data tables

2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey

The 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey collected food and nutrient information for 3275 school children aged 5–14 years. The survey was carried out from February 2002 to December 2002.

1997 National Nutrition Survey (adults)

The 1997 National Nutrition Survey provides information on food and nutrient intakes, dietary habits and nutrition-related clinical measures of New Zealand adults. The survey was carried out from December 1996 to November 1997, and included interviews with 4636 New Zealanders aged 15 years or above.

There have also been numerous journal articles published using data from the National Nutrition Surveys.

Data and statistics

There are three main ways of getting data and statistics from the New Zealand National Nutrition Surveys.

  1. The Nutrition section contains the key results from the surveys.
  2. Further analysis of survey results can be requested in some circumstances. Please email hdi@moh.govt.nz if you are interested in getting further analysis done.
  3. Survey microdata from the 1997 National Nutrition Survey and 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey are available to researchers for their own research projects, on certain conditions. More information can be found in the Access to survey microdata section.

Researchers interested in the utilisation of biological samples for further nutrition-related research important to the Ministry of Health should view the Information for survey respondents section.

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