Northern Ireland: nutrition policy snapshot

This snapshot presents strengths and weaknesses of national nutrition policy actions in Northern Ireland. Compare Northern Ireland with other European countries in our NOURISHING policy index.

Northern Ireland implements national government policy actions in 9 out of the 10 policy areas of the NOURISHING framework. Three policy areas received a good assessment: limits or removal of specific nutrients in food products (I1), increasing awareness on food and nutrition through communication campaigns and social marketing based on food-based dietary guidelines (I2), and giving nutrition education and skills (G).

Within policy areas, weaknesses and gap were identified, for example, in the design of fruit and vegetable initiatives in schools, and lack of measures on food and drink available in the immediate vicinity of schools impacted otherwise well-designed standards on food in schools (O). Similarly, gaps were identified with regards to unhealthy food advertising for young people through product design and packaging, point of sale measures, and in/around schools (R). Finally, current policy actions at national level to ensure coherence between food systems and health (H) can be strengthened.

No action was taken at national government level in nutrition advice and counselling in healthcare settings (N2); therefore, this policy area should be prioritised. Greater attention should be given to setting rules and incentives to create a healthy retail and food service environment (S).

Download a full analysis and breakdown of Northern Ireland’s results

This country snapshot presents detailed results of the NOURISHING policy index for Northern Ireland. Full index results are outlined in the NOURISHING policy brief (pdf), which compares Northern Ireland with other European countries and explains the methods for producing this snapshot and the index.

The index assesses if national government policy actions exist across all areas of the NOURISHING framework and, if so, how well designed they are. We produced this assessment by benchmarking policies from Northern Ireland, collected through a comprehensive scan. You can view all benchmarked policies in our NOURISHING database.

Overview of nutrition policy status in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland NOURISHING overview

MOVING country snapshots

We also have snapshots of physical activity policies in 30 European countries. Visit the Northern Ireland page or see all the country snapshots.

Get in touch

The policy landscape in any country evolves over time. These findings reflect our knowledge as of May 2023. To provide feedback or suggest updates, please get in touch.

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