A 2017/18 survey showed that just 50.8% of those aged 16+ in Gateshead were eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. This compares with the England average of 54.8% [Chart - Fruit and veg 5-a-day]. The proportion in Gateshead has reduced from 58.9% in 2015/16 and 55.4% in 2016/17, although the reduction is indicative only due to large confidence intervals.
A local survey conducted in 2016 (Adult Health and Lifestyle Survey) recorded 48% of adults eating 5-a-day. The survey found that a further 38% were close, eating 3 to 4 portions per day. 11% have 1 or 2 portions and just 4% have none (although this means 1 in 25 people do not have any fruit or veg on a typical day). Women seem to be more likely than men to eat 5-a-day, and this is definitely the case for older women aged 65+ with 73% eating 5-a-day compared to 44% of older men.
Only 32% of those who do not get the recommended level of exercise (150+ minutes per week) and 33% of those who smoke eat the recommended 5-a-day compared with the average for all people of 48%.
20% of respondents said they eat takeaways once a week or more often. Working age people are far more likely to eat takeaway food weekly or more often (24% aged under 35 and 22% aged 35 to 64) than those aged 65+ (6%).
In 2012 just over a quarter (26%) of primary school pupils aged 8-11 years eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily, whereas only 16% of secondary school pupils aged 12-15 do so. In 2014 the proportion of primary school pupils eating the recommended 5 portions remained at 26% (No secondary schools took part in the 2014 survey). 10% said they didn't eat any portions of fruit and vegetables on the day before the survey.
In the 2014/15 'What About YOUth' (WAY) survey, 46.1% of 15 year olds in Gateshead reported that they had eaten 5 portions or more of fruit and vegetables per day. This is significantly lower than the England average of 52.4% but similar to other local authorities in the region and those in Gateshead's CIPFA nearest neighbour group. [Chart - 15 year olds who eat 5+ portions of fruit and veg per day]. (Note that the large difference between this survey data and the HRBQ survey data in the previous bullet point may be due to the way that the question is asked, with the WAY survey splitting the question into three - asking separately about vegetables; fruit juice; and fruit.)
Increasing breastfeeding at an early stage in life is expected to reduce illness in young children and have health benefits for both the child and mother. In Gateshead 75.6% of mothers breastfed their babies within the first 48 hours after delivery in 2016/17. This is similar to the England average of 74.5% [Chart - Breastfeeding initiation]. At 6-8 weeks just 36.0% are still being breastfed, compared with an England average of 44.4% (Gateshead data for 2017/18 is unavailable for 'data quality reasons'). [Chart - Breastfeeding prevalence at 6-8 weeks].
 Active Lives Survey, Sport England, 2017/18 (PHOF website)
 Health and Lifestyle Survey, Gateshead Council, 2016
 Gateshead Schools Health Related Behaviour Survey, 2012 and 2014
 What About YOUth? Survey, HSCIC, 2014/15 (Young People website)
 NHS England, Breastfeeding initiation 2016/17 (PHOF website)
 NHS England, Breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks 2016/17 (PHOF website)