The estimation of food consumption, the intake of nutrients and exposure to
contaminants is of increasing interest in Public Health as a basis for
directing Food Safety and Nutrition lines of action and as a predictive method
for determining the state of health of population groups.
In addition, one of the basic pillars on which risk assessment is founded is
knowledge about the true levels of exposure of the population. This is why,
when considering food safety, the availability of food consumption data which
permits the use of correct methods of assessment is essential.
surveys or food or consumption surveys provide a quantitative and
qualitative estimate of a food or group of foods in an individual over a set
period of time.
The data collected provide information about eating habits, and the quality
of diets as well as helping to assess exposure to dietary risks.
In Europe, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) collects food
consumption data from the different Member States, and has published a European
Food Consumption Database. In addition, the EU Menu project has been set
up to improve the quality of data obtained in Europe and to make this data more
easily comparable. This conducts surveys in Europe in accordance with a
harmonised methodology approved by all Member States.
In Spain, the Spanish Agency for Food Safety (AESAN) conducted a National
Survey of Spanish Dietary Intake (ENIDE) on the adult population. Its results
can be seen in the corresponding section. In addition it has started a survey
of the child and adolescent population (ENALIA) which is included in the EU