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Privacy notice

Who uses my data?

At some point during your interview, we'll ask you if you agree to us passing on your name, address and date of birth to different governing bodies in order to provide us with a fuller picture of your health. You can read more about linking data here.


The Government uses results from the survey to make decisions that improve public health and protect food safety. Results from the survey have led to public health campaigns such as Change4Life which encourages people to “Eat well, move more and live longer”.


Once results from the survey have been published by the Government, academics study these results for their own research purposes. Academics have looked at a number of interesting diet and nutrition issues, including how parental employment shapes children’s eating habits.

Who has access to my data?

The data controllers for this study are Public Health England (PHE) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA). NatCen Social Research is the data processor for this study. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is also a data processor for fieldwork in Northern Ireland. Please note that the lawful basis for processing data as identified by the data controllers is “performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller”(Article 6(1) (e)). An additional condition has been identified by the data controllers for processing special category data (including biometric data). This states that “processing is necessary for archiving in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes based on UK law” (Article 9(2) (j)). Our research collaborator, the University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit, has access to biological samples you may provide. They have access to some personal, but non-identifiable, data for research and analysis purposes. For logistical reasons, we work with the following third parties: DPD, Formara and Stor-A-File. We also employ a Freelance Research Associate who assists with data management.

What will happen to any information I give?

We will handle your data in accordance with data protection legislation. The personal information we collect about you is used in order to undertake our survey. This includes arranging appointments to collect information from you and feeding back results from your blood tests. The results and any urine and/or blood samples collected will be used for research and statistical purposes only, for the purpose of improving public health. Your answer and potential results will be put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people who take part in this study. Your personal details will be removed so that the findings we publish will not identify you. The survey findings will be published in reports on PHE’s and FSA’s websites.

In the future, NatCen may want to contact you about follow-up research on health. We will only invite you to take part in follow-up research if you give written consent for this. If you are invited to take part in any future studies you will be free to refuse if you do not want to take part.

Do I have to take part?

Providing personal details and taking part in the study is not a statutory or contractual requirement, and participation is therefore completely voluntary. There will be no consequences for you as a participant if you choose not to provide personal data, and you have the right to withdraw from the study at any point.

How long will you keep my data?

The National Diet and Nutrition survey has been running since 2008 and helps the government improve public health. The study looks at trends over time, and therefore we would like to keep some information about people’s diet and nutritional status permanently.  We will change your name and any other identifiable information in the data we store. Please note that should you wish to withdraw from the study or request to delete data about yourself, any data which has already been finalised and combined with that of others, or has been archived, cannot be deleted as it may already form part of the data in publications. Your rights will always be safeguarded, and you will not be identified in any of this data. 

Where is my data stored?

 All personal data will be stored securely, in line with NatCen’s certification to ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus. No personal identifiable data, such as your name or contact details, will be transferred to another country.

Contact us

If you have any queries, or want to request that we change or delete your information, please do contact us:

Public Health England's Data Protection Officer: Alex Sienkiewicz

PHE Director of Corporate Affairs



The Data Protection Officer in the FSA is the Information Management and Security Team Leader


Data Protection Officers are responsible for upholding your rights and making sure we process your information correctly.


Bev Bates, Research Director,

Kings House, 101-135 Kings Road,

Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4LX

0800 652 4572

Participants hold the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can do so here:

As a participant, you have the right to access your personal data. However, please note that we use pseudonyms throughout all stages of the data collection and keep identifying information separate from this data. Identifying information gets deleted when the project ends. If you feel that the data you have provided us with is incomplete or inaccurate, you have the right to rectify it prior to data finalisation.