Rationale and methods of the EFCOSUM project
Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Objective: To describe the rationale and methods for a European project (EFCOSUM) to develop a method for a European food consumption survey that delivers internationally comparable data on a set of policy-relevant nutritional indicators. Rationale and methods: Currently Member States are collecting data and information for use at national level. At an international level, such data are often of limited comparability and of varying quality. To promote the development and exchange of adequate, reliable and comparable indicators of public health, and the structures needed to exchange the relevant data, a programme of Community action on health monitoring was set up for the EU. The objective of the action programme is to contribute to the establishment of a Community Health Monitoring System. Data will be made available to all Member States via a telematic network, which is currently being developed for the Health Monitoring Programme. With regard to nutrition, there is a need for a limited set of policy-relevant dietary indicators that are comparable among EU Member States. In the field of nutrition, however, there is a regrettable lack of internationally comparable data. The project 'European Food Consumption Survey Method' (EFCOSUM) therefore aimed to define a (minimum) set of dietary components which are relevant determinants of health and to define a method for the monitoring of food consumption in nationally representative samples of all age-sex categories in Europe in a comparable way. The project was carried out by 14 Member States as well as nine other European countries. Activities of the project included plenary sessions, desk research, and working group activities, building on existing experience from such projects as DAFNE, EPIC, FLAIR Eurofoods-Enfant project, COST Action 99 and others. The proposed method may be used alone, or as a calibration method to accompany existing ongoing studies. Sponsorship: European Commission, DG SANCO F/3, Health Monitoring Programme. © 2002 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.
To reference this document use:
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 56 (suppl. 2), S4-S7