Findings from the 2018/19 and 2019/20 New Zealand Health Survey
Adults completed the Dietary Habits Questionnaire (DHQ) as part of the New Zealand Health Survey in years 2018/19 and 2019/20, where each survey year began on 1 July.
Dietary habits are linked with nutrient intake, nutritional status and health conditions. Dietary habits can act as protective factors for chronic diseases, whereas high intakes of some foods or food components are risk factors.
This report indicates some New Zealanders’ patterns of food and drink consumption meet the evidence-based recommendations in the Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults (EAGs) (Ministry of Health 2020). However, the analysis shows some populations were less represented in healthy food and drink patterns and over-represented in the less healthy dietary patterns.
The current survey analysis provides us with a picture of dietary habits before the pandemic. The interaction between eating patterns and the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand is not yet understood. The COVID-19 pandemic brought an early end to the second year of the DHQ survey, with the DHQ module in the field winding up when the first national lockdown began in March 2020. This analysis will be useful for comparison with dietary habits after the pandemic, which the next national nutrition survey will capture.