Do we eat enough fibre, vitamins and minerals, and avoid eating too much sugar or fat? Do we consume too many heavy metals, additives or other undesirable products through our food? The Food Consumption Survey tells us in detail what and how much the Belgian population eats. The government can use this information to prioritise its food policies. It also allows us to underpin properly dietary guidelines. In addition, the legislation on additives and contaminants can be monitored and amended in a more targeted way.
Nutrition and eating habits as well as food policies change constantly, which is why food consumption surveys need to be organised regularly.
The first National Food Consumption Survey in Belgium was conducted in 2004 among 3,200 adults aged 15 and above. We collected nationally representative data on the Belgian population in 2014-2015 for people between 3 and 64 years old. In march 2022, we started the latest data collection wave, collecting detailed information on the diets of 3,020 participants aged 3 and above in a national sample and of an extra 1,400 participants in Brussels and the German-speaking community.
The survey also provides information on topics such as:
- their eating habits
- their opinions on the food policy
- their physical activity
- their sedentary behaviour.
Method and sample
The participants are randomly selected from the Belgian National Register using multistage stratified clustered sampling methods.
The fieldwork is spread out over 12 months. The selected participants receive an invitation letter and an information leaflet. A few days later, a trained interviewer visits the respondents’ homes to ask them to participate in the survey and makes an appointment for the interview(s).
Participants provide detailed information about their diets spread over two non-consecutive days via a 24-hour dietary recall (or a food diary for children). They also fill in a Food Propensity Questionnaire between the two home visits. In 2022, additional participants are interviewed in Brussels and the German-speaking Community using a detailed Food Frequency Questionnaire instead.
The interviewer objectively measures weight, height and waist circumference. In children and adolescents, physical activity and sedentary behaviour are objectively measured using an accelerometer since 2014-2015.
Data collection is conducted using a Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) with the program GloboDiet® and traditional survey questions. Sensitive data are collected using a self-administered questionnaire.
The 2014 questionnaires are available in French and Dutch:
- General questionnaire: Children ( Dutch — French), Adolescents ( Dutch — French), Adults ( Dutch — French)
- Food Propensity Questionnaire: Children ( Dutch - French), Adolescents and Adults ( Dutch - French)
- Health questionnaire: Children ( Dutch — French), Adolescents ( Dutch — French), Adults ( Dutch — French)
Procedure for accessing the database
The database of the National Food Consumption Survey 2014-2015 is available for external users. The steps that have to be followed to query this database are described in detail in this procedure.
Below you will find the reports of the results of the 2014 survey organised by topic.
Eating habits, anthropometry and food policy
Physical activity and sedentary behaviour
Food consumption and nutritional intake
You can also request by email the protocol, the questionnaires and the reports of the previous Food Consumption Survey of 2004.
Any further questions about the Food Consumption Survey? Contact the FCS team.