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. The current guidelines for healthy eating promote a diet based on starchy foods, such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta; plenty of fruit and vegetables; some protein-rich food, such as meat, fish and lentils; and reduced levels of fat, salt, sugar and alcohol. 

Key findings for Lancashire-14

  • Estimates from the Active Lives Survey (2016/17) suggest that just 53% of adults (aged 16+) in Lancashire-12 are eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, significantly below the England average (57.4%). Blackpool (51.9%) is also estimated to have a significantly lower healthy eating prevalence than England, whilst Blackburn with Darwen (58.5%) is estimated to be in line with England.
  • At a district level Chorley (50.3%), Hyndburn (45.2%), Pendle (49.4%), Preston (46.9%), Rossendale (49.4%), and South Ribble (50.3%) are all estimated to have a significantly lower healthy eating prevalence than England. 
  • The 2016/17 Pupil Attitude Questionnaire (Lancashire-12 only) found that almost a fifth of children who responded (18.3% of year 4 and 19.9% of year 6) reported that they either hardly ever or never choose to eat a healthy meal.
  • Public Health England calculated that in 2016 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 121.85 (per 100,000 of the population), significantly above the England rate (87.8). 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 further information about food and nutrition and healthy weight, please see the 'Healthy weight in Lancashire' report on our healthy weight page.

For county and unitary data and further information please see below

For district data and full functionality of the Public Health England fingertips tool please visit the web page

Page updated June 2018