Some months ago a national organisation established to keep a watchful eye on the Nation's diet expressed concern over the eating trends of people in what to them appeared to be developing inbalances of necessary nutrient factors and the inadeuacy not so much of calories and energy values but in the nature and quality of main food factors. It was recommended that the national diet should be improved, but the authorities pointed to the National Food Survey results to show that the diet was not deficient; that the average daily intake of protein, vitamins, minerals and overall energy requirements were satisfied; all of which is true for the not‐too‐generous levels set. Even the pensioner households included in the Survey sample appear well‐fed. What causes concern is the year‐by‐year decrease in staple foods consumed—milk, red meat, bread, fresh vegetables—and the heavy reliance on refined, processed foods. In its annual reports on NFS reviews, the BFJ has almost monotonously referred to this downward trend. Individual NFS Reports do not reveal any serious deficiencies, as yet, but in the trend over the years—and herein lies the real value of the Survey and its data—few if any of the changes have been for the better; movements in food groups have tended to be downwards. If these trends continue, the time must surely come when there will be real deficiencies; that substitution within a food group cannot make good essential foods severely rationed by high prices.
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