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The DAFNE initiative: the methodology for assessing dietary patterns across Europe using household budget survey data

  • Pagona Lagiou (a1), Antonia Trichopoulou (a1) and DAFNE contributors

Abstract

Objective

The DAta Food NEtworking (DAFNE) initiative was conceived in the 1980s and aims at using data already collected in the context of household budget surveys (HBSs) for the assessment of dietary patterns across Europe.

Design

HBSs are country-representative surveys conducted, with similar methodology, at regular time intervals by the National Statistical Offices of almost all European countries. DAFNE focuses at the designation of comparable, between European countries, categories of food and socio-demographic data, and the estimation of daily per capita food availability. With food and socio-demographic data classified into common categories, comparisons of food habits between European countries become possible.

Setting

Fifteen European countries with one or more HBS all undertaken during the period 1981–1999.

Subjects

Representative population samples in 15 European countries.

Results

DAFNE HBS data are comparable and allow a wide range of dietary analyses. Preliminary data document differences in food habits among European countries and provide insights into the socio-demographic determinants of food preferences.

Conclusion

The DAFNE databank, if properly expanded and exploited, could become a valuable tool for national food and nutrition policy planning across Europe and for the identification of groups at higher risk for developing nutrition-related conditions.

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