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Observational studies provide evidence for an association between potassium intake and BP levels. However, uncertainties still exist about the size and the shape of this relation. Conversely, experimental studies have not been used to estimate dose-response curves, since standard methods can only be applied in trials including at least three exposure groups.
Materials and Methods:
We carried out a systematic review of the evidence concerning the effect of potassium supplementation on blood pressure in epidemiologic experimental studies. Following a PubMed search up to June 20, 2019, we included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) encompassing potassium supplementation as the only intervention for at least four weeks. We used a restricted cubic spline model and the ‘one-stage’ approach to perform a dose-response meta-analysis, a newly-developed statistical procedure which allows inclusion of studies with as few as two categories of exposure (Stat Methods Med Res. 2019;28:1579–1596). Finally, we repeated the analyses stratifying for hypertensive status and use of anti-hypertensive medication.
Overall, we included 33 studies carried out in adult population, with potassium supplementation ranging from 30 to 140 mmol/day. RCTs’ duration ranged from 4 up to 26 weeks. Most of the studies have a cross-over design (N = 24), include hypertensive individuals (N = 27) and subjects not under anti-hypertensive medication (N = 27). Overall, an increase of 40, 80 and 120 mmol/day of potassium resulted in reductions of SBP by -5.64 (95% CI - 8.78, -2.50), -4.62 (-6.41, -2.84) and -2.54 mmHg (95% CI -5.14, + 0.06), respectively. Higher potassium intakes also resulted in reduced DBP levels by -3.57 (95% CI -5.55, -1.59), -3.07 (95% CI -5.07, -1.08), and -1.92 mmHg (95% CI -5.65, 1.81). The effect of increasing potassium intake on BP was larger among hypertensives than normotensives, and among pharmacologically untreated hypertensives compared to their treated counterparts. Subgroup analyses according to study design (parallel vs. crossover) yielded similar results.
With the application of advanced dose-response modeling on RCT results, we found a U-shaped relation between potassium intake and blood pressure. A low to moderate increase in potassium intake resulted in a progressive reduction in blood pressure, which was reversed at higher levels of potassium supplementation. The effect was stronger among untreated hypertensives.
Supported by grant GP-EFSA-AFSCO-2017-01 GA09 of the European Food Safety Authority - EFSA. The text reflects only the authors' view; and EFSA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
To examine timing of eating across ten European countries.
Cross-sectional analysis of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study using standardized 24 h diet recalls collected during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined food consumption occasions were assessed during the recall interview. We present time of consumption of meals and snacks as well as the later:earlier energy intake ratio, with earlier and later intakes defined as 06.00–14.00 and 15.00–24.00 hours, respectively. Type III tests were used to examine associations of sociodemographic, lifestyle and health variables with timing of energy intake.
Ten Western European countries.
In total, 22 985 women and 13 035 men aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
A south–north gradient was observed for timing of eating, with later consumption of meals and snacks in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries. However, the energy load was reversed, with the later:earlier energy intake ratio ranging from 0·68 (France) to 1·39 (Norway) among women, and from 0·71 (Greece) to 1·35 (the Netherlands) among men. Among women, country, age, education, marital status, smoking, day of recall and season were all independently associated with timing of energy intake (all P<0·05). Among men, the corresponding variables were country, age, education, smoking, physical activity, BMI and day of recall (all P<0·05).
We found pronounced differences in timing of eating across Europe, with later meal timetables but greater energy load earlier during the day in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries.
Young children lack basic skills related to recognizing the types of foods they consume and dietary surveys often rely on parents’ response. The present study aimed to evaluate how well parents of children aged from 3 months to 10 years perceive images of portions of foods commonly consumed by young children.
Pre-weighed, actual food portions (n 2314) were shown to the study participants who were asked to indicate the picture that corresponded to the food in view. Mean differences between picture numbers selected and shown were estimated and compared using unpaired t tests or Tukey–Cramer pairwise comparisons.
Real-time testing of parents’ perception of food images presenting portion sizes consumed by children up to 10 years old.
A convenience sample of 138 parents/caregivers of young children (69 % females).
Individuals selected the correct or adjacent image in about 97 % of the assessments. Images presenting amorphous solids (i.e. pies and pastries with a filling), liquid or semi-liquid dishes (i.e. soups, porridges, fruit and vegetable purées) were more prone to bias. There was no indication that personal characteristics (gender, age, educational background, age, number of offspring) were associated with differences in the way parents/caregivers perceived the food pictures.
Food pictures may not be appropriate to quantify the intake of liquid, semi-liquid or amorphous solid foods in surveys addressing young children and studies evaluating their performance as food portion anchors should ensure the inclusion of several and various amorphous foods in the assessment.
To evaluate how well respondents perceive digital images of food portions commonly consumed in Greece.
The picture series was defined on the basis of usual dietary intakes assessed in earlier large-scale studies in Greece. The evaluation included 2218 pre-weighed actual portions shown to participants, who were subsequently asked to link each portion to a food picture. Mean differences between picture numbers selected and portions actually shown were compared using the Wilcoxon paired signed-rank test. The effect of personal characteristics on participants’ selections was evaluated through unpaired t tests (sex and school years) or through Tukey–Kramer pairwise comparisons (age and food groups).
Testing of participants’ perception of digital food images used in the Greek national nutrition survey.
Individuals (n 103, 61 % females) aged 12 years and over, selected on the basis of the target population of the Greek nutrition survey using convenience sampling.
Individuals selected the correct or adjacent image in about 90 % of the assessments and tended to overestimate small and underestimate large quantities. Photographs of Greek traditional pies and meat-based pastry dishes led participants to perceive the amounts in the photos larger than they actually were. Adolescents were more prone to underestimating food quantities through the pictures.
The digital food atlas appears generally suitable to be used for the estimation of average food intakes in large-scale dietary surveys in Greece. However, individuals who consistently consume only small or only large food portions may have biased perceptions in relation to others.
Eating out has been linked to the current obesity epidemic, but the evaluation of the extent to which out of home (OH) dietary intakes are different from those at home (AH) is limited. Data collected among 8849 men and 14 277 women aged 35–64 years from the general population of eleven European countries through 24-h dietary recalls or food diaries were analysed to: (1) compare food consumption OH to those AH; (2) describe the characteristics of substantial OH eaters, defined as those who consumed 25 % or more of their total daily energy intake at OH locations. Logistic regression models were fit to identify personal characteristics associated with eating out. In both sexes, beverages, sugar, desserts, sweet and savoury bakery products were consumed more OH than AH. In some countries, men reported higher intakes of fish OH than AH. Overall, substantial OH eating was more common among men, the younger and the more educated participants, but was weakly associated with total energy intake. The substantial OH eaters reported similar dietary intakes OH and AH. Individuals who were not identified as substantial OH eaters reported consuming proportionally higher quantities of sweet and savoury bakery products, soft drinks, juices and other non-alcoholic beverages OH than AH. The OH intakes were different from the AH ones, only among individuals who reported a relatively small contribution of OH eating to their daily intakes and this may partly explain the inconsistent findings relating eating out to the current obesity epidemic.
Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case–control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41 nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23 nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.
Eating out is often recorded through short-term measurements and the large within-person variability in intakes may not be adequately captured. The present study aimed to understand the effect of measurement error when using eating-out data from one or two 24 h dietary recalls (24hDR), in order to describe intakes and assess associations between eating out and personal characteristics. In a sample of 366 adults from Potsdam, Germany, two 24hDR and a FFQ were collected. Out-of-home intakes were estimated based on either one 24hDR or two 24hDR or the Multiple Source Method (MSM) combining the two 24hDR and the questionnaire. The distribution of out-of-home intakes of energy, macronutrients and selected foods was described. Multiple linear regression and partial correlation coefficients were estimated to assess associations between out-of-home energy intake and participants' characteristics. The mean daily out-of-home intakes estimated from the two 24hDR were similar to the usual intakes estimated through the MSM. The out-of-home energy intake, estimated through either one or two 24hDR, was positively associated with total energy intake, inversely with age and associations were stronger when using the two 24hDR. A marginally significant inverse association between out-of-home energy intake and physical activity at work was observed only on the basis of the two 24hDR. After applying the MSM, all significant associations remained and were more precise. Data on eating out collected through one or two 24hDR may not adequately describe intake distributions, but significant associations between eating out and participants' characteristics are highly unlikely to appear when in reality these do not exist.
Adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) has been reported to improve CHD prognosis and to be inversely associated with CHD mortality. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of adherence to the MD with CHD incidence and mortality in the Greek European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort, a population with traditional Mediterranean roots. In a general population sample of 23 929 adult men and women with no CVD or cancer at enrolment, a validated FFQ was interviewer-administered, sociodemographic, physical activity and other characteristics were recorded, and arterial blood pressure and anthropometric characteristics were measured. In a median period of 10 years, 636 incident CHD cases and 240 CHD deaths were recorded. Associations of adherence to the MD, operationalised through a nine-component score (0, poor; 9, excellent), with CHD incidence and mortality were evaluated through Cox regression controlling for potentially confounding variables. A two-point increase in the MD score was associated with lower CHD mortality by 25 % (95 % CI 0·57, 0·98) among women and 19 % (95 % CI 0·67, 0·99) among men. The association of adherence to the MD with CHD incidence was again inverse, but weaker (hazard ratios 0·85 (95 % CI 0·71, 1·02) among women and 0·98 (95 % CI 0·87, 1·10) among men). With respect to score components, only meat among men (positively) and fruits and nuts among women (inversely) were associated with both the incidence of and mortality from CHD. The MD, as an integral entity, is inversely associated with CHD incidence and, particularly, mortality.
Fish consumption is the major dietary source of EPA and DHA, which according to rodent experiments may reduce body fat mass and prevent obesity. Only a few human studies have investigated the association between fish consumption and body-weight gain. We investigated the association between fish consumption and subsequent change in body weight. Women and men (n 344 757) participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition were followed for a median of 5·0 years. Linear and logistic regression were used to investigate the associations between fish consumption and subsequent change in body weight. Among women, the annual weight change was 5·70 (95 % CI 4·35, 7·06), 2·23 (95 % CI 0·16, 4·31) and 11·12 (95 % CI 8·17, 14·08) g/10 g higher total, lean and fatty fish consumption per d, respectively. The OR of becoming overweight in 5 years among women who were normal weight at enrolment was 1·02 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·02), 1·01 (95 % CI 1·00, 1·02) and 1·02 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) g/10 g higher total, lean and fatty consumption per d, respectively. Among men, fish consumption was not statistically significantly associated with weight change. Adjustment for potential over- or underestimation of fish consumption did not systematically change the observed associations, but the 95 % CI became wider. The results in subgroups from analyses stratified by age or BMI at enrolment were not systematically different. In conclusion, the present study suggests that fish consumption has no appreciable association with body-weight gain.
Whether there are differences between countries in the validity of self-reported diet in relation to BMI, as evaluated using recovery biomarkers, is not well understood. We aimed to evaluate BMI-related reporting errors on 24 h dietary recalls (24-HDR) and on dietary questionnaires (DQ) using biomarkers for protein and K intake and whether the BMI effect differs between six European countries. Between 1995 and 1999, 1086 men and women participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition completed a single 24-HDR, a DQ and one 24 h urine collection. In regression analysis, controlling for age, sex, education and country, each unit (1 kg/m2) increase in BMI predicted an approximately 1·7 and 1·3 % increase in protein under-reporting on 24-HDR and DQ, respectively (both P < 0·0001). Exclusion of individuals who probably misreported energy intake attenuated BMI-related bias on both instruments. The BMI effect on protein under-reporting did not differ for men and women and neither between countries on both instruments as tested by interaction (all P>0·15). In women, but not in men, the DQ yielded higher mean intakes of protein that were closer to the biomarker-based measurements across BMI groups when compared with 24-HDR. Results for K were similar to those of protein, although BMI-related under-reporting of K was of a smaller magnitude, suggesting differential misreporting of foods. Under-reporting of protein and K appears to be predicted by BMI, but this effect may be driven by ‘low-energy reporters’. The BMI effect on under-reporting seems to be the same across countries.
Flavonols, flavanones and flavones (FLAV) are sub-classes of flavonoids that exert cardioprotective and anti-carcinogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. We aimed to estimate the FLAV dietary intake, their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. FLAV intake and their food sources for 36 037 subjects, aged between 35 and 74 years, in twenty-seven study centres were obtained using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-SOFT). An ad hoc food composition database on FLAV was compiled using data from US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and was expanded using recipes, estimations and flavonoid retention factors in order to increase its correspondence with the 24 h dietary recall. Our results showed that the highest FLAV-consuming centre was the UK health-conscious group, with 130·9 and 97·0 mg/d for men and women, respectively. The lowest FLAV intakes were 36·8 mg/d in men from Umeå and 37·2 mg/d in women from Malmö (Sweden). The flavanone sub-class was the main contributor to the total FLAV intake ranging from 46·6 to 52·9 % depending on the region. Flavonols ranged from 38·5 to 47·3 % and flavones from 5·8 to 8·6 %. FLAV intake was higher in women, non-smokers, increased with level of education and physical activity. The major food sources were citrus fruits and citrus-based juices (especially for flavanones), tea, wine, other fruits and some vegetables. We concluded that the present study shows heterogeneity in intake of these three sub-classes of flavonoids across European regions and highlights differences by sex and other sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.
To identify and assess actions by which the catering sector could be engaged in strategies for healthier eating out in Europe.
A SWOT analysis was used to assess the participation of the catering sector in actions for healthier eating out. Caterers subsequently shortlisted essential actions to overcome threats and weaknesses the sector may face when engaging in implementing these actions.
Analysis undertaken in the European Union-supported HECTOR project on ‘Eating Out: Habits, Determinants and Recommendations for Consumers and the European Catering Sector’.
Thirty-eight participants from sixteen European countries reflecting a broad multi-stakeholder panel on eating out in Europe.
The catering sector possesses strengths that allow direct involvement in health promotion strategies and could well capitalise on the opportunities offered. A focus on healthy eating may necessitate business re-orientations. The sector was perceived as being relatively weak in terms of its dependency on the supply of ingredients and lack of financial means, technical capacity, know-how and human resources. To foster participation in strategies for healthier eating out, caterers noted that guidelines should be simple, food-based and tailored to local culture. The focus could be on seasonal foods, traditional options and alternative dishes rather than just on ‘healthy eating’. Small-to-medium-sized enterprises have specific concerns and needs that should be considered in the implementation of such strategies.
The study highlights a number of possible policy actions that could be instrumental in improving dietary intake in Europe through healthier eating out.
To evaluate time trends in the availability of soft drinks, to identify food choices associated with their consumption and to assess the relationship between socio-economic status and daily soft drink availability in a wide range of European countries.
Data on food and beverage availability collected through the national household budget surveys and harmonized in the DAFNE (Data Food Networking) project were used. Averages and variability of soft drink availability were estimated and tests for time trends were performed. The daily availability of food groups which appear to be correlated with that of soft drinks was further estimated. Multivariate logistic and linear regression models were applied to evaluate the association between socio-economic status and the acquisition of soft drinks.
Twenty-four European countries.
Nationally representative samples of households.
The availability of soft drinks is steadily and significantly increasing. Households in West and North Europe reported higher daily availability of soft drinks in comparison to other European regions. Soft drinks were also found to be correlated with lower availability of plant foods and milk and higher availability of meat and sugar products. Lower socio-economic status was associated with more frequent and higher availability of soft drinks in the household.
Data collected in national samples of twenty-four European countries showed disparities in soft drink availability among socio-economic strata and European regions. The correlation of soft drinks with unfavourable dietary choices has public health implications, particularly among children and adolescents.
To assess the short-term (15-d) and long-term (12-month) effects of a school-based health and nutrition education intervention on diet, nutrition intake and BMI.
The 12-week teacher-implemented intervention in combination with seminars organized for parents was aimed at improving children’s diet and nutrition knowledge. The intervention took place between September 2007 and January 2008. The participants were randomized to two study groups, the intervention group (IG) and control group (CG), and were examined prior to the intervention on a variety of health knowledge, dietary, behavioural and anthropometric indices. The same measurements were collected 15 d and 1 year after the intervention.
All high schools in Vyronas, a densely populated district of Athens, Greece.
The sample consisted of 191 students aged 12–13 years.
Twelve months after the intervention, the programme was effective in reducing various indices in the IG compared with baseline findings (BMI: 23·3 (sd 2·8) v. 24·0 (sd 3·1) kg/m2, P < 0·001; daily energy intake: 8112·4 (sd 1412·4) v. 8503·3 (sd 1419·3) kJ/d, P < 0·001; total fat intake: 31·3 (sd 4·4) v. 35·4 (sd 4·7) % of daily energy, P < 0·001). Except for BMI, decreases in the aforementioned indices were also observed 15 d after the intervention. In addition, students of the IG reduced their weekly consumption of red meat and non-home-made meals and increased their frequency of fruit and breakfast cereal consumption.
The beneficial effects of this nutrition education intervention among adolescents may highlight the potential of such programmes in the prevention of obesity.
Worldwide dietary data for nutrition monitoring and surveillance are commonly derived from food balance sheets (FBS) and household budget surveys (HBS). We have compared food supply from FBS and food availability data from HBS among eighteen European countries and have estimated the extent to which they correlate, focusing on food groups which are comparably captured by FBS and HBS and for which there is epidemiological evidence that they can have a noticeable impact on population mortality. Spearman's correlation coefficient was +0·78 (P < 10− 3) for vegetables (including legumes),+0·76 (P < 10− 3) for fruits, +0·69 (P < 10− 3) for fish and seafood and +0·93 (P < 10− 3) for olive oil. With respect to meat and meat products, the coefficient was lower at +0·39 (P = 0·08). Moreover, we have examined whether the supply (FBS) or the availability (HBS) of food groups known or presumed to have beneficial effect on the occurrence of CHD and total cancer can predict overall, coronary and cancer mortality in ecological analyses. After controlling for purchasing power parity-adjusted gross domestic product and tobacco smoking we found that for vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, as well as for olive oil, both the FBS and the HBS estimates were inversely associated with all three indicators of mortality, although the number of countries with complete information on all study variables hindered formal statistical documentation (P>0·05 in some instances). FBS and HBS have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they may complement each other in dietary assessments at the population level.
To compare the average out-of-home (OH) consumption of foods and beverages, as well as energy intake, among populations from 10 European countries and to describe the characteristics of substantial OH eaters, as defined for the purpose of the present study, in comparison to other individuals.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary data were collected through single 24-hour dietary recalls, in which the place of consumption was recorded. For the present study, substantial OH eaters were defined as those who consumed more than 25% of total daily energy intake at locations other than the household premises. Mean dietary intakes and the proportion of substantial OH eaters are presented by food group and country. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the odds of being a substantial OH eater in comparison to not being one, using mutually adjusted possible non-dietary determinants.
Ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
The subjects were 34 270 individuals, 12 537 men and 21 733 women, aged 35–74 years.
The fraction of energy intake during OH eating was generally higher in northern European countries than in the southern ones. Among the food and beverage groups, those selectively consumed outside the home were coffee/tea/waters and sweets and, to a lesser extent, cereals, meats, added lipids and vegetables. Substantial OH eating was positively associated with energy intake and inversely associated with age and physical activity. Substantial OH eating was less common among the less educated compared with the more educated, and more common during weekdays in central and north Europe and during the weekend in south Europe.
Eating outside the home was associated with sedentary lifestyle and increased energy intake; it was more common among the young and concerned in particular coffee/tea/waters and sweets.
Socially-and culturally-patterned differences in food habits exist both between and within European populations. Daily individual food availability data, collected through the national household budget surveys (HBS) and harmonized in the context of the Data Food Networking (DAFNE) project, were used to assess disparities in food habits of seven European populations and to evaluate dietary changes within a 10-year interval. The availability of selected food items was further estimated according to the educational level of the household head and, based only on the Greek HBS data, according to quintiles of the household's food purchasing capacity. Results for overall food availability support the north-south differentiation in food habits. Generally, the availability of most food items, including foods such as vegetable fats, animal lipids and sugar products, has decreased over the 10 years. Households in which the head was in the higher education categories reported lower availability for most food items, with the exception of low-fat milk, fresh fruit, animal lipids and soft drinks; the latter showing a sharp increase even within southern European households. The household's food purchasing capacity can be used as an indicator of socio-economic status, with higher values being associated with lower status. Greek households of lower social class follow a healthier diet in terms of greater availability of vegetable oils, fresh vegetables, legumes, fish and seafood. Data from the DAFNE databank may serve as a tool for identifying and quantifying variation in food habits in Europe, as well as for providing information on the socio-economic determinants of food preferences.
Tree nuts, peanuts and seeds are nutrient dense foods whose intake has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases. They are regularly consumed in European diets either as whole, in spreads or from hidden sources (e.g. commercial products). However, little is known about their intake profiles or differences in consumption between European countries or geographic regions. The objective of this study was to analyse the population mean intake and average portion sizes in subjects reporting intake of nuts and seeds consumed as whole, derived from hidden sources or from spreads. Data was obtained from standardised 24-hour dietary recalls collected from 36 994 subjects in 10 different countries that are part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Overall, for nuts and seeds consumed as whole, the percentage of subjects reporting intake on the day of the recall was: tree nuts = 4·4%, peanuts = 2·3% and seeds = 1·3%. The data show a clear northern (Sweden: mean intake = 0·15 g/d, average portion size = 15·1 g/d) to southern (Spain: mean intake = 2·99 g/d, average portion size = 34·7 g/d) European gradient of whole tree nut intake. The three most popular tree nuts were walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, respectively. In general, tree nuts were more widely consumed than peanuts or seeds. In subjects reporting intake, men consumed a significantly higher average portion size of tree nuts (28·5 v. 23·1 g/d, P<0·01) and peanuts (46·1 v. 35·1 g/d, P<0·01) per day than women. These data may be useful in devising research initiatives and health policy strategies based on the intake of this food group.
The study objective was to estimate food and nutrient availability in Bolivian households using data from the nationally representative under the Programme for the household surveys undertaken yearly from 1999 to 2002 Improvement of Surveys and the Measurement of Living Conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean (MECOVI). In the present study, we analysed data from four repeated, cross-sectional surveys and applied European Data Food Networking (DAFNE) methodology for post-harmonising the data. Raw data of 19 483 households in Bolivia (3035 in 1999, 4857 in 2000, 5845 in 2001 and 5746 in 2002) were retrieved from the databases of the national household surveys. Results showed that the Bolivian diet is characterised by higher availability of foods of plant origin (cereals, fruits, potatoes and vegetables). Meat, milk and their products follow in the dietary preferences of Bolivians. Disparities in food availability within the country were also observed. Rural households systematically recorded lower amounts of food available, in comparison with the urban ones. Households of higher social status recorded higher availability values for all food groups, except for potatoes and cereals. Findings suggest that Bolivian households of lower socio-economic status prefer energy-dense and cheaper food sources. We concluded the dietary and socio-demographic data collected in the MECOVI household surveys could serve nutrition surveillance purposes. In addition, the application of DAFNE methodology for post-harmonising the data allows both national and international comparisons.