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Food supply -^ Distribution and -^ Food ¡ntake -^ Nutr¡ent ut¡|¡zat¡on -^ Hea|th outcome consumption

Figure 2 A conceptual model of the relationships of food to health. (Life Sciences Research Office, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Nutrition Monitoring in the United States - An Updated Report on Nutrition Monitoring. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989.)

difference is the amount of food consumed. The beginning inventory includes data on food production, imports and exports, and adjustments for nonhuman food consumption and an estimate of waste. Results are then converted to per capita basis food availability. To obtain the mean per capita annual consumption of food, total disappearance of food is divided by the country's population. Quantities of each food commodity are then multiplied by the appropriate nutrient values, and the results are expressed either in kilograms per year or in grams per day of individual food commodities and nutrient availability per person. No deduction is made for household food waste or the loss of nutrients in food preparation. Food is not distributed equally among a country's population, so this method only indicates the amount of food that leaves the food distribution system and is available for human consumption to the country as a whole. The best and most useful use of this data is to compare available food supply within and between countries and to monitor trends and forecast food consumption patterns over time. For example, Table 1 illustrates the use of food balance sheets data and shows the worldwide and regional increase in the average supply of dietary fat from 1967-1969 to 1997-1999. Caution is needed, however, in comparing data between countries because food balance sheets, although compiled in a similar manner, may differ in food groupings, level of processing of commodities, and nutrient conversion of factors.

The Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published international food balance sheets yearly since 1949 and also covering the period 19341948. FAO food balance sheets are compiled from data supplied by approximately 200 countries. FAO uses the United Nations Population Division midyear estimates of population size for its food balance sheet data and to calculate per capita values. International food balance sheets have also been compiled and published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on 23 countries (18 European countries, Australia,

Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States), whereas the Commission of the European Communities (EURO-Stat) publishes data for its 12 member countries. In addition, individual countries publish their own data. For example, Canadian data on per capita food availability have been prepared annually by Statistics Canada since 1979. In the United States, annual estimates of commodity foods consumed by the civilian population are calculated and have been reported since 1909.

Food consumption by households Methods have been devised to obtain information on the availability of food and beverages for consumption by a household, family group, or institution. The basic concept is to collect the types and amounts of food that enter a household and that are available for consumption. These methods vary by the level of respondent burden and extent of recall expected, and there are four main ones: the food account, list-recall, inventory, and food record methods. Generally, the information is collected for a period of 7 days. In the food account method, the head of household records daily all types and quantities of food that enter the household within a 7-day period. In the list-recall method, the head of household is interviewed and must recall the foods used by the household on an 'as purchased' basis. The inventory and food record methods require daily recording of food acquired and of changes in the food inventory and also detailed weighing and measuring of food, placing a heavy burden on the respondent.

These household food consumption methods do not provide actual food intake by individuals within the household. Instead, individual food consumption and nutrient intake are calculated by dividing household food consumption by the number of members in the household regardless of age or sex. This information is then reported in terms of household income level, family size, and other general characteristics of interest. Several countries have used household methods for their national

Table 1 Supply of dietary fat by region

Region Supply of dietary fat (g per capita per day)

1967-1969 1977-1979 1987-1989 1997-1999

Table 1 Supply of dietary fat by region

Region Supply of dietary fat (g per capita per day)

1967-1969 1977-1979 1987-1989 1997-1999

World

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