Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Zooming in on nutritional diseases

A new way of collecting data on nutritional deficiencies will help map the prevalence of chronic diseases in the Western Balkans based on nutritional deficiencies. This will allow policymakers to combat the phenomenon.
Zooming in on nutritional diseases
The Western Balkans, i.e. mainly the countries of former Yugoslavia and Albania, have seen their fair share of hardship in recent decades. Political instability, mass migration and shifting demographics have made it especially difficult to evaluate nutritional patterns and discrepancies of populations in the region. Moreover, very little has been done with respect to monitoring food habits in the region.

The lack of data, however, can be compensated for through household budget surveys (HBS), helping authorities draw important conclusions with respect to food availability and nutrition.

The EU-funded 'The use of household budget survey data as a tool for nutrition interventions in the post-conflict Western Balkan countries' (DAFNE-WBC) project has put these surveys to good use. The surveys have the potential to reveal much about nutritional trends from socioeconomic and demographic perspectives. The potential of HBS has been evaluated within the Data Food Networking (DAFNE) initiative, which helped harmonise HBS data regarding 21 European countries.

The project trained researchers from Western Balkan Countries (WBC) to exploit HBS for monitoring nutrition and food choices in their respective countries. It also integrated data from various countries into an online tool that enables stakeholders to compare diet-related data of the relevant countries.

DAFNE-WBC will in the long run help concerned authorities identify dietary patterns in different segments of society and focus on chronic diseases related to nutritional deficiencies. It will assist policymakers in designing programmes to combat poverty and raise the standard of living in the WBC.

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