Nutrition & Diet for Healthy Lifestyles in Europe

Food availability and consumption at national, household and individual levels: implications for food based dietary guidelines development.

Lluís Serra-Majem *
Department of Clinical Sciences. University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, P.O. Box 500, 35080 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, & Community Nutrition Research Group. Barcelona Science Park, University of Barcelona, Spain

Short Title: National, household and individual food data

Keywords : Food Data, nutritional assessment, food consumption, food availability.


    The three levels of dietary data national, household and individual, are analysed and compared, and their use and misuse in FBDG development and monitoring are discussed. Food Balance Sheets (FBS) estimate the national availability of foods, and are an appropriate tool to evaluate food policies; they tend to overestimate food consumption, particularly for those foods with higher waste. Household Budget Surveys (HBS) estimate the household availability of foods, and are useful to evaluate dietary family interventions. Individual Dietary Surveys (IDS) evaluate individual food and nutrient intake and provide a unique estimation of nutritional status and are the best tool for planning FBDG; however, they are expensive and may be biased towards underreporting. 
   The understanding of the relationship between the different levels of food information is very important when formulating, evaluating and monitoring a nutrition policy in a country or region.


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