Food and nutrition

A healthy diet can help to support good physical and mental health, whilst a poor diet has been linked to a number of long term illnesses including cancer, coronary heart disease, excess weight, hypertension (high blood pressure) and type 2 diabetes.

Nutrition advice advocates that balance is the key to a healthy diet, and eating a wide variety of food and drink in the right proportions will help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Key findings

  • Estimates suggest that 54.5% of adults (aged 16+) in Lancashire-12 are eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, similar to the England average (54.6%) (2018/19). Blackburn with Darwen (43.0) and Blackpool (47.3%) are significantly lower.
  • At a district level, Rossendale (44.9%) and Burnley (49.4%) are estimated to have a significantly lower proportion of adults (16+) eating the five portions of fruit and vegetables per day compared to England. Ribble Valley (65.5%) and Fylde (60.4%) have a significantly higher proportion. 
  • The 'What about YOUth' (WAY) survey (2014/15) indicate that the average number of portions of fruit consumed per day in Lancashire-12 was 2.4, similar to England (2.4) (persons aged 15 years). For vegetables the number of portions was significantly worse than England (2.3 and 2.4 respectively).
  • Public Health England calculated that in 2014 there were 47,928 fast food outlets across England, of which 1,282 (3%) are based in Lancashire-12, giving the area a crude outlet concentration rate of 108.2 (per 100,000 of the population), significantly above the England rate (88.2). Blackburn with Darwen (128.1) and Blackpool (192.9) were also found to have significantly higher concentrations of fast food outlets.
  • In 2015 Lancashire County Council conducted a comprehensive lifestyle survey as part of their Health behaviours joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA), with over 13,000 responses from across the Lancashire-12 area. On the subject of diet and nutrition, the survey found under a fifth (17%) of respondents eat fast food or take away meals at least once a week.

For county and unitary data and further information please see below.

Page updated January 2021