FCS - National Food Consumption Survey

Last updated on 4-7-2024 by Laïla Boulbayem
Project duration:
January 1, 2004
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Project with no end date

In short

Do we eat enough fibre, vitamins and minerals, while avoiding excessive sugar or fat? Do we consume too many heavy metals, additives or other undesirable products through our diet? The National 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 properly underpin dietary guidelines. In addition, the legislation on additives and contaminants can be monitored and amended in a more targeted way.

Project description

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 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 2022-2023, 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.

Study protocol

Consult the PDF icon protocol of the 2022 survey for more information on the methods. A detailed PDF icon description of the methods of the 2014-2015 survey is also available. 

Questionnaires

The 2014-2015 questionnaires are available in French and Dutch:  

 The 2022-2023 questionnaires will be available soon. 

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.

Results

 Please find herethe initial results from the National food consumption survey 2022-2023. The upcoming results including topics such as food consumption, physical activity and sedentary behaviour will be available soon.

 The protocol, questionnaires and reports of the National Food Consumption Survey of 2004 and 2014-2015 are available upon request.

Any further questions about the Food Consumption Survey? Contact the FCS team.

Financial Source

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