The workshop "Food-consumption surveys in developing countries: Future challenges," held in Chiang Rai, Thailand, January 25–26, 2003, brought together 30 nutritionists and food safety experts from 10 Southeast Asian countries as well as from countries outside the region. It provided
a forum for sharing information and experiences relating to food-consumption survey methodology. It enabled detailed discussions of the gathering of food-consumption data in developing countries for purposes of nutrition assessment, exposure assessment, and studies of diet-disease relationships.
The workshop participants emphasized the need to obtain the support of policy and decision makers to establish a mechanism for conducting regular coordinated food-consumption surveys to meet these needs. The participants emphasized the importance of identifying all relevant stakeholders and
involving them in the planning and conduct of these surveys. A number of technical issues related to food-consumption surveys were discussed, including food-intake methodologies. It was felt that surveys on individuals are preferred, and a combination of 24-hour recall and food-frequency questionnaire
would most likely provide the required data. The workshop emphasized the need to develop, maintain, and update databases at the national and regional levels for nutrients and non-nutrients as well as contaminants and food additives. To ensure that surveys are conducted regularly and professionally,
the importance of having qualified and trained personnel was emphasized. Several issues related to reports of food-consumption data were discussed, including timely reporting, effective dissemination, and appropriate usage. The participants unanimously recommended the organization of further
technical meetings or workshops to follow up on recommended activities and enable continuing regional collaboration on food-consumption surveys.
Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.
The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.
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