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close this book Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987)
close this folder The uses of food composition data
close this folder Epidemiological uses of food composition data in the European context
View the document (introductory text)
View the document Introduction
View the document Nutritional epidemiology
View the document The problems
View the document Suggestions for improvement
View the document Ongoing activities
View the document Summary
View the document References

Ongoing activities

Ongoing activities

To address a number of the problems mentioned here a project has been awarded to EUROFOODS by the European Community. This involves co-operative efforts between 17 countries towards the development of a merged European food composition data bank. The five aspects of the pilot project are:

1. Inventorization of existing food-nutrient data bases, and examination of the needs of current and potential users of European nutrient data bases.

2. Examination of the differences between national food composition tables, and proposal of ways in which they might be better harmonized.

3. Development of a common coding system for foods for use in the harmonization of nutrient tables and collection of food-intake information.

4. Estimation of the operational requirements of a merged European nutrient data bank system.

5. Establishment of a mechanism for consultation with member states.

Three workshops have taken place with the central theme involving the development of a common food coding and identification system. In the Federal Republic of Germany, a commission with members from four European countries which developed a German Food Code (the BLS [19]) has been actively involved since the beginning of 1984 in developing a draft for this common EUROCODE. Additionally, English translations of the foods presented in 16 of the European food composition tables are currently available in a data file in Heidelberg, along with their EUROCODE 2 number. Efforts are now being undertaken to collect and translate into English typical national dishes and their recipes.

An example of governmental encouragement of standardization in the dietary assessment methodology is the current situation in the Federal Republic of Germany. One of the major research funding agencies, the Ministry of Research and Technology, is requesting that all new projects incorporating dietary assessment incorporate as far as possible the existing standards and the BLS, the Federal Food Code.