Western Balkan countries (WBC) have undergone demographic and nutritional transitions, following a period of internal conflict. These transitions should be evaluated in relation to the epidemiology of nutrition-related chronic diseases in the region. Nev ertheless, the availability of nationally representative, and periodically collected dietary data is almost non-existent. Food availability data regularly collected through Household Budget Surveys (HBS) provide an efficient and affordable method for ass essing dietary habits. The exploitation of HBS food data for nutrition monitoring in Europe has been evaluated in the Data Food Networking (DAFNE) initiative, which has developed the methods for harmonizing HBS data of 16 European countries The DAFNE-WBC project aims to apply the DAFNE methods for developing a food databank based on HBS data in order to assess food habits in Albania, Bulgaria and Croatia; to evaluate their association with the prevalence of post-conflict nutrition-related chronic diseas es; and to develop national and international nutrition interventions in the region. Moreover, researchers and governmental officials will be trained to apply the DAFNE methods to their national HBS data and thus acquire knowledge and expertise existing elsewhere in Europe, stabilising and reinforcing their research potential. The project's participants will become members of the DAFNE network, operating to monitor food availability in Europe and to evaluate socioeconomic factors shaping dietary habits. The internationally comparable data will be integrated into a software application tool freely available in the internet, the Dafnesoft, which will allow the research community to acquire knowledge of dietary habits in three countries of the region. The results' exploitation will lay a scientific and policy foundation for developing public health nutrition interventions in the region.
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Funding SchemeSSA - Specific Support Action