Dietary data in Europe national surveys

A number of European countries have carried out national dietary surveys. Table 2.1 summarises basic information on the various IDSs that have been undertaken in 20 European countries during the last 20 years.

The surveys are often designed to document the dietary patterns of the general population or segments of it and possibly to identify groups at nutritional risk. In other instances, the primary aim is to address country-specific objectives. The selection of the dietary survey method depends on a number of different factors and investigators may frequently have to compromise according to the specific objectives of the survey and the inherent cost of setting it up.

When the option of running international comparisons using these data is raised, a number of methodological constraints emerge. It can directly be noted that a variety of dietary assessment methods are used, making it difficult to accomplish comparability at the international level (Friedenreich, 1994). The differences in the data collection methodology are reflected in the type and accuracy of the data collected. Some dietary surveys, usually those conducted with food frequency questionnaires, collect data on the intake of particular foods,

Table 2.1 Specially designed dietary surveys undertaken in the general population of 20 European countries during the last 20 years.

Sample size

Survey Population

Dietary

Country

Name of the survey

Years of data collection

(number of

assessment

individuals)

Gender

Age (yrs)

method

Austria

Austrian Study on

1991-1994

2173

F + M

6-18

7 day record

Nutritional Status

1993-1997

2065

F + M

19-65

24 hour recall,

(ASNS)

diet history

1995, 1998

78

F +M

Elderly

7 day record

Belgium

Belgian Interuniversity Research on Nutrition and Health (BIRNH)

1980-1985

10971

F +M

25-74

1 day record

Croatia

Croatian Study on Schoolchildren's Nutrition

1997-1998

348

F +M

12-14

24 hour recall and food frequency questionnaire

Denmark

Dietary Habits in Denmark

1985

2 242

F +M

15-80

diet history

National Dietary Survey

1995

3 098

F +M

1-80

7 day record

National Continuous

2000-2002

1 500 (2000)

F +M

4-75

7 day record

Dietary Survey

Finland

Dietary Survey of Finnish

1992

1 861

F +M

25-64

3 day record

Adults

1997

2862

F +M

25-64

24 hour recall

(FINDIET)

290

F +M

65-74

France

National Food

1985-1995

1 778

F +M

18-62

diet history

Consumption Survey

1993-1994

1 229

F +M

18+

7 day record

(ASPCC)

1993-1994

1500

F +M

2-85

7 day record

Individual National Food

1998-1999

1 018

F +M

3-14

7 day record

Consumption Surveys

1 985

F +M

15+

(INCA)

Table 2.1 Continued

Country Name of the survey Years of data collection

Germany National Nutrition Survey in former West Germany National Health Survey in former East Germany German Nutrition Survey Hungary First Hungarian

Representative Nutrition Survey Hungarian Randomised Nutrition Survey

Iceland Icelandic National

Nutrition Survey Ireland Irish National Nutrition

Survey North-South Food Consumption Survey Italy INN-CA

Lithuania Baltic Nutrition and Health

Survey

Netherlands Dutch National Food

Consumption Survey

Norway National Dietary Survey among Adults (NORKOST)

National Dietary Survey

1985-1989

1991-1992 1998

1985-1988

1992-1994

1990 1990

1998

1994-1996 1997

1987-1988

1992

1997-1998

1993-1994

1997

1993

1999 1999

Sample size (number of individuals)

Survey Population

Gender

Age (yrs)

F + M

4-70+

F + M

18-79

F + M

18-79

F + M

15-60+

Dietary assessment method

24632

1897

4030 16641

2559

7 day record diet history diet history Two 24 hour recalls and food frequency questionnaire Three 24 hour recalls and food frequency questionnaire

1240

F +

M

15-80

diet history

1214

F +

M

8-18+

diet history

1379

F +

M

18-64

7 day record

3 600

F +

M

0-94

7 day record

2183

F +

M

20-65

24 hour recall and

food frequency

questionnaire

5 898

F +

M

1-79

2 day record

6218

F +

M

1-92

2 day record

6 250

F +

M

1-97

2 day record

3144

F +

M

16-79

food frequency

questionnaire

2672

F +

M

16-79

food frequency

questionnaire

1705

F +

M

13

food frequency

1564

18

questionnaire

2400

F +

M

6 and 12

food frequency

months

questionnaire

2010

F +

M

2

food frequency

questionnaire

Table 2.1 Continued

Sample size

Survey Population

Dietary

Country

Name of the survey

Years of data collection

(number of

assessment

individuals)

Gender

Age (yrs)

method

Poland

Dietary Habits and

1991-1994

1126

F + M

11-14

24 hour recall

Nutritional Status of

2193

18

selected populations

4945

20-65

Portugal

National Dietary Survey

1980

13080

F + M

1-65+

24 hour record

Slovak

Assessment of food habits

1991-1999

3337

F +M

11-14

24 hour recall and

Republic

and nutritional status

4556

15-18

food frequency

4807

19-88

questionnaire

Sweden

HULK

1989

2036

F +M

1-74

7 day record

Riksmaten

1997-1998

1215

F +M

18-74

7 day record

Switzerland

Swiss Health Survey

1992-1993

26000

F +M

15-74

food frequency

questionnaire

United

The Dietary and Nutritional

1986-1987

2197

F +M

16-64

7 day record

Kingdom

Survey of British Adults

(NDNS)

National Diet and Nutrition

1992-1993

1 675

F +M

11/2-41/2

4 day record

Survey: Children aged

11/2-41/2yrs

National Diet and Nutrition

1994-1995

1 687

F +M

65+

4 day record

Survey: people aged

65 yrs and over

National Diet and Nutrition

1997

1 701

F +M

4-18

7 day record

Survey: young people

aged 4-18 yrs

Adapted from Verger et al, 2002.

Adapted from Verger et al, 2002.

selected for their relevance to the objectives of the survey. Therefore, the results' efficacy for calculating the energy and nutrient intake is limited. Methods such as 24-hour recalls and food records, on the other hand, do not necessarily reflect habitual intake. In highly demanding surveys, such as those requiring weighed diaries of multiple days, a significant proportion of subjects may drop out, introducing bias in the sample.

The representativeness of the survey population, the potential of the data (e.g. suitability for energy and nutrient calculations), the elements that may affect the reliability of the collected data and the accuracy of the results (e.g. participation rate), are all factors affecting the suitability of a dietary survey to be used for international comparisons (Haraldsdottir, 1991). The error possibly introduced by the application of various food composition databases for estimating nutrient intakes should also be considered. The documented lack of compatibility of food composition data from various countries (Deharveng et al, 1999) may compromise the validity of the observed relationships.

It is generally acknowledged that dietary intake cannot be estimated without error and each method has its strengths and weaknesses. The knowledge of the method's limitations and of the nature and the magnitude of the errors will lead to a more scientific and sensible interpretation of the results. Although dietary surveys differ widely in the accuracy of their estimates of quantities of food eaten, these differences are usually not listed when the results are presented. These differences are seldom obvious and must be borne in mind when various surveys are compared.

The often prohibitive cost of special dietary surveys may limit the European coverage of data collection. Being expensive and labour intensive, such surveys are regularly undertaken only in a limited number of countries, usually those with robust economies and years of experience in the field. In the modern world of rapid changes, however, nutrition surveillance and intervention programmes should make use of dietary surveys that have built-in mechanisms of continuity over time and extensive coverage.

My Life My Diet

My Life My Diet

I lost over 60 pounds and 4+ inches off my waist without pills, strenuous exercise, or any of the things that the diet experts tell you to do...and I did it in less than 4 months! If you have the desire, and can read through my e-book , then this is for you! I could have easily made it a lot more difficult, with stacks of information that people will never read, but why?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment