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Folic Acid

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her most recent estimate is of the take-up of folic acid in women of child bearing age in socio-economic groups C2 and DE; and if she will make a statement. (134891)

The most recent information available on folate intakes is from the 2000-01 National Diet and Nutrition Survey of adults aged 19-64 years. In this survey households in receipt of income-related state benefits can be used as a broad indicator of socio-economic group. The survey shows that mean folate intake from food sources in women of child bearing age (19-49 years) living in households in which someone was in receipt of benefits was 214 micrograms/day. When the contribution of folic acid supplements was included mean intake in this group increased to 221 micrograms/day. This level of intake is below the recommendation for women who could become pregnant to take a 400 micrograms/folic acid supplement.

The Food Standards Agency has undertaken a survey of diet and nutrition in low income/materially deprived consumers in the United Kingdom. Results, to be published later this year, will include folate intakes.