Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to get all the nutrients the body needs. However, UK dietary surveys show that many people do not meet dietary recommendations such as eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day or oily fish twice a week.
Some groups of people in particular may find it difficult to achieve recommended nutrient intakes through diet alone. These include young children and adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women, housebound or institutionalised elderly people, smokers, heavy drinkers, and anybody on a restrictive diet, such as vegans, vegetarians and people trying to lose weight.
Nutrients can also be lost from food as a result of poor methods of storage, preparation and cooking. In addition, busy lifestyles mean that people are more inclined to skip meals and grab individual snacks without giving thought to putting together properly balanced meals which would provide the right mix of nutrients.