Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 151, Issue 1, pp 272–278 | Cite as

Trends in the availability of foods for human consumption in Ireland

  • James G. Robertson
  • John J. Kevany


Davailable for human consumption have been used to estimate trends in the pattern of food consumption in Ireland and how the food availability (g/head/day) compares to the energy and macronutrient requirements of the population. Overall, the trend in food consumption is towards a diet with a reduced consumption of cereals and an increased consumption of meat, sugar and vegetable fats. Although fruit and vegetable consumption has tended to decrease slightly this has been due mainly to a large decrease in potato consumption. Consumption of dairy products has recently tended to decrease but still remains high, mainly as fresh milk. Energy consumption, at over 3000 Kcal/h/day (12.6MJ) should be more than adequate to meet the energy needs of the population. Energy consumption has increased slightly since 1948. Consumption of the more energy dense foods has increased and conversely consumption of bulk-providing food has decreased. This is also reflected in the decreased consumption of dietary fibre. The proportion of energy consumed as carbohydrate has also decreased and has been replaced by fat energy. Consumption of polyunsaturated fat has increased but saturated fat remains the major fat source in the diet. The proportion of energy consumption as protein has remained relatively constant but the proportion of animal protein consumed has increased. Overall trends in consumption of the macronutrients tend to be at variance with recommendations for improved health and nutrition status.


Food Consumption Vegetable Consumption Fresh Milk Nutrition Policy National Nutrition Survey 


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Copyright information

© Springer 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. Robertson
    • 1
  • John J. Kevany
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Community HealthTrinity CollegeDublin

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