Evaluating current egg consumption patterns: Associations with diet quality, nutrition and health status in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey
Gibson S., Gray J.
Dietary habits are constantly evolving with changes in culture, economics and the food supply. In the UK, red meat intakes have been declining for more than a decade, while egg consumption has increased in tandem with interest in healthy, sustainable diets. To explore current dietary habits of egg consumers and non‐consumers and potential implications for nutrition and health, we analysed dietary records from 647 adults participating in Year 9 (2017) of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). Mean consumption of eggs and egg dishes was 29 g/day (3.5 eggs/week). Female egg consumers (n = 224; mean 46 g/day, 5 eggs/week) ate more fruit, vegetables and fish and had significantly higher dietary intakes of protein, monounsaturated fatty acids, n‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and most micronutrients, notably vitamin D, most B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, zinc and selenium, compared with non‐consumers (n = 150). They also had higher plasma levels of 25‐hydroxyvitamin D, total carotenoids, selenium and ferritin and were less likely to be anaemic. Female egg consumers had a lower mean body mass index and waist circumference, despite reporting a higher mean energy intake than non‐consumers. Male egg consumers (n = 159; mean 54 g/day, 6 eggs/week) had higher dietary intakes of vitamin D, biotin, iodine and selenium but similar micronutrient status and bodyweight to non‐consumers (n = 114). There were no significant differences in cardiometabolic risk factors for either sex. Egg consumption appears to be associated with signs of higher dietary quality, better nutritional status, and slightly lower body mass index among women participating in the latest NDNS.