Epidemiol Health.  2021;43(1):e2021027. 10.4178/epih.e2021027.

Trends in food and nutrient intake over 20 years: findings from the 1998-2018 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • 1Division of Health and Nutrition Survey and Analysis, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2Public Health Medical Service Office, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea


We aimed to examine the current status and trends of food and nutrient intake in the Korean population over the past 20 years using the data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).
We conducted a survey of 116,284 subjects over the age of one year in Korea, who participated in the KNHANES between 1998 and 2018. We collected data on the subjects’ intake for the day before using the 24-hour recall method. The annual percent change (APC) in the food groups and nutrient intake were calculated using SAS and Joinpoint software.
The intake of grains (APC=-0.4, p<0.05) and vegetables (APC=-0.8, p<0.05) was observed to decrease. In contrast, the intake of beverages, meat, dairy, and eggs increased. In particular, beverage intake increased by more than four times (APC=9.2, p<0.05). There was no significant change in energy intake. However, the proportion of energy intake from carbohydrates decreased by approximately 5%p (APC=-0.3, p<0.05), whereas that from fat increased by approximately 5%p (APC= 1.1, p<0.05). Additionally, there were decreases in the proportion of energy intake from breakfast and homemade meals and increases in the energy intake from snacks, dining out, and convenience food. The intake of vitamin C (APC=-3.2, p<0.05) and sodium (APC=-2.3, p<0.05) significantly decreased.
Over the past 20 years, there has been decreases in the intake of grains, vegetables, carbohydrates, sodium, and vitamin C and increases in the intake of beverages, dairy, meat, eggs, and fat. Since nutritional status is an important factor in the prevention and management of chronic diseases, it should be continuously monitored.


Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Food intake, Nutrient intake, Nutritional status
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