Belgian national food consumption survey in children

Belgium, food consumption survey, dietary intake, children, EU Menu
First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
1 August 2018
23 July 2018
External Scientific Report

The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. This task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors, awarded following a tender procedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European Food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


The Belgian national food consumption data collection in children was a part of the second Belgian general national food consumption survey, BNFCS2014, in 2014‐2015 (3‐64 years). In addition to food consumption data, information concerning eating habits, food safety, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health was collected. As the project was included in the EU Menu Project, the methodology of the survey followed to a large extent the EFSA guidance on the EU Menu methodology.A representative sample of the Belgian population aged three to nine years old was randomly selected from the National Population Register following a multistage stratified sampling procedure. The participation rate to the general survey, BNFCS2014, was 37%. Ultimately, 1000 children were included in the survey. Data collection was divided equally over the four seasons and all days of the week in order to incorporate seasonal effects and day‐to‐day variation in food intake.Information on food intake for the children population was collected with two non‐consecutive one‐day food diaries followed by a GloboDiet completion interview with the parent or guardian. This was complemented with a food propensity questionnaire. Body weight and height were measured. In addition, children wore an accelerometer and kept a logbook for seven consecutive days to objectively measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour.Data from the survey will be very valuable for national risk assessments, nutritional studies and the development and evaluation of nutrition or health policies. The food consumption data was also coded according to the FoodEx2 classification and will be included in the EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption database.

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