NPNS Ireland National Pre-School Nutrition Survey Database (IUNA)

The National Pre-School Nutrition Survey contains a collection of information on the dietary intake of Irish preschool children.


What is the National Pre-School Nutrition Survey 2010-2011 (NPNS 2010-11)?

The National Pre-School Nutrition Survey 2010-2011 (NPNS 2010-11), Ireland is a cross-sectional survey that was carried out between October 2010 and September 2011 by the nutrition departments in University College Cork and University College Dublin, which are affiliated to Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA). IUNA is an alliance of several Irish universities that was formed to bring together the nutrition experts to develop national databases of dietary intake and health status through national nutrition surveys of populations from age 1 to 90 years. National Pre-School Nutrition Survey 2010-2011 (NPNS 2010-11), Ireland. was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Food for Health Research Initiative (FHRI), which is also supported by the Department of Health and the Health Research Board. A detailed description of the methodology used and the data obtained from the survey are available at


The National Pre-School Nutrition Survey 2010-2011 (NPNS 2010-2011) contains a collection of information on dietary intake, anthropometry, eating behaviour and health and lifestyle of Irish preschool children aged 1-4 years. For this survey, habitual food and beverage consumption was investigated in a total of 500 children aged 12 to 59 months in the Republic of Ireland. 


The National Pre-School Nutrition Survey 2010-2011 (NPNS 2010-11) consists of more than 36,000 rows of data. The collected data describes in detail every food and drink item consumed by each of the participants at every eating occasion, for each one of the four recording days. For each item consumed by the participants, the datasets contain the actual day of the week and meal number in the day, what the eating occasion means (definition), time and location of consumption, the weight of food/drink consumed, the information on the consumed brand, packaging type and size among other information. Each food identified in the dataset is assigned to one of the 77 food groups in the database.


To estimate the food intake, a four-day weighed food record was used. Parents/guardians of the participating children were asked to record detailed information on the amount and type of all foods, drinks and nutritional supplements consumed by the child over four consecutive days in a food diary. Accuracy of recording was ensured by visiting the households during the survey period. The participants were provided with a food scale and were asked to weigh as many food items as possible. Additionally, age-appropriate photographic food atlas was also used to assign varying weights to the foods. They were asked to keep the food packaging so as to provide further details. Physical measurements of the children such as weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference were measured. Parents’ weights and heights were also recorded. Moreover, parents were also asked to complete five self-administered questionnaires to provide information on the health and lifestyles of both themselves and the child, The questions were mainly concerned with physical activity, food choice, eating behaviour, attitudes to food marketing and early childhood eating habits were included. 

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Datasets available from IUNA

Related questions about the NPNS National Pre-School Nutrition Survey Database

How do I access the Ireland NPNS 2010-2011 Survey datasets?

The data for Ireland NPNS 2010-2011 survey can be obtained from the official website of IUNA – Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance. 

To access the NPNS 2010-2011 data, 

  • Go to the official website of IUNA:
  • Click on the ‘Survey reports’ tab on the website menu

The data is available in  the following two forms:

We have accessed various raw datasets and have tested and validated them in our models and produced visual analytics tools in dashboards. We can facilitate requesting permission for use of the above raw data.

How is the NPNS 2010-2011 Survey database used by companies, institutes and organizations?

The National Pre-School Nutrition Survey 2010-2011 (NPNS 2010-11)  datasets are used widely for research related to nutrition, public health and food safety. The datasets support the work of agencies that are responsible for food and nutrition policy and regulation in Ireland and the European Union. The findings from the NPNS 2010-2011 Ireland are used to develop nutrition policies and health promotion campaigns for pre-school children in the future.

More specifically, the following are some usages for NPNS 2010-2011 survey datasets for companies, food producers and policymakers:


  • To gain up-to-date quantitative habitual food consumption data for pre-school children using tools such Creme Nutrition or the Dietary Intake Intelligence Tool (DIIT)
  • To assess exposure to chemical and biological hazards in foods using tools such as Creme Food Safety
  • To develop food items and processes for this age category to minimize food-borne risks and hazards
  • To optimize energy and macronutrient uptake
  • To assess the sources of energy and tailor to the sugar, dietary fibre, salts, vitamins and minerals intake
  • To find the relation between physical measurements and food intake
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