Abstract P358: Assessing Global Dietary Habits: A Comparison of National Estimates from the Food and Agricultural Organization and the Global Dietary Database
Background: Accurate data on dietary habits are crucial for understanding impacts on disease and informing policy priorities. National food availability estimates from the UN Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) have been widely used as the only global data available, but with uncertain validity.
Objective: To investigate the validity of FAO data compared to nationally representative data on individual-based dietary intakes from the Global Dietary Database (GDD).
Methods: We compared 30 y (1980-2010) of FAO food supply data, comprising 101 food items/y, matched to corresponding GDD survey data for113 countries across major food groups, including fruits & fruit juices, vegetables, beans & legumes, nuts & seeds, whole grains, red & processed meats, fish & seafood, milk, and total energy. Absolute and percent differences in FAO-GDD country-year pairs were compared using t-tests. Statistical significance of heterogeneity was tested using likelihood ratio tests comparing nested models with and without interaction terms. Correction equations were developed and validated using randomly split datasets, using multivariate regression for FAO estimates as predictors of GDD results.
Results: FAO estimates substantially overestimated individual-based dietary intakes for all food groups except beans & legumes (p<0.0001) and nuts & seeds (p<0.05). Modest heterogeneity in estimation was evident by age (Figure),sex, diet assessment method, and survey representativeness; substantial heterogeneity was observed by world region for all food groups (p<0.01). Results for split-data correction equations to be presented.
Conclusion: For most food groups, FAO estimates were substantially different than individual-based national surveys, with significant heterogeneity according to several factors. Future national and global dietary analyses should rely on individual-based national survey data or multivariable-corrected FAO data for accurate assessment of undernutrition, disease burdens, and relevant policy.
Author Disclosures: L.C. Del Gobbo: None. S. Khatibzadeh: None. R. Micha: None. D. Mozaffarian: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.