Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Unravelling food habits across Europe

Researchers defined a methodology for undertaking national representative dietary surveys across Europe. Monitoring the eating habits of different age groups portrays a picture of food safety and public health across Europe.
Unravelling food habits across Europe
Health and diet are often interlinked. Unhealthy eating can cause obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, posing a serious health hazard globally. Therefore, monitoring and comparing the eating patterns in populations across Europe can help identify malnutrition and provide advice for a healthier diet and lifestyle.

The main objective of the EU-funded ‘European food consumption validation’ (Efcoval) project was to continue the work initiated in a previous study on food consumption across Europe. In particular, it aimed to upgrade, adapt and validate the EPIC-Soft software programme that is used to collect dietary data in European monitoring surveys. Previously, the EPIC-Soft programme was used to collect food consumption data on a non-consecutive 24-hour basis. The Efcoval project evaluated the pitfalls and problems encountered in applying the EPIC-Soft software in different countries. Also, it extended the software’s use to children and for assessing the exposure to hazardous substances.

Collection of short-term dietary intake information was statistically analysed, translated to food consumption patterns and compared among European countries. Study results were disseminated and discussed through a European conference by a multidisciplinary audience. Project partners developed a website for the public to communicate data and results, which also served to announce news and information to stakeholders.

Study achievements provided significant insight into the eating habits, nutrient deficiencies and exposure to chemicals in different European populations. Furthermore, it is expected that the EPIC-Soft software will contribute to the development of a food safety and public health assessment system.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top