Launch of the IV National Dietary Survey in Italy (IV SCAI)


The implementation of national wide dietary surveys is an essential component of surveillance programs and evaluation of food impact on health in European countries and it has been one of the pillar of the JPI HDHL Knowledge Hub DEDIPAC, CREA-AN (Food and Nutrition Research Center of the Agriculture Research Council and Agrarian Economy Analysis), already member of DEDIPAC, has launched IV SCAI, the IV Food Consumption Study in Italy, a sample survey aimed at collecting data on food consumption of the Italian population, with the harmonized methods recommended by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The study is carried out under the EU-Menu program (OC-EFSA-DATA-2014-02-Lot1-CT03; Lot 2-CT05). The aim of the survey is to collect food consumption data to assess the energy and nutrient adequacy, exposure to chemicals, and the environmental impact of diet. The results can be used to develop policies that lead the adoption of better lifestyles and are a key tool for implementing guidelines for healthy eating, including the prevention of chronic diseases. The study is structured in two cycles of dietary data collection, covering 1700 children aged 3 months to 9 years (started on 1st June 2017) and teenagers and adults aged 10-74 years. Recording of food intakes on 2 repeated non-consecutive diaries and two repeated non-consecutive 24h recall interviews are the approaches used to collect data in case of children and the age class of 10-74, respectively. Food propensity will also be recorded for rarely consumed foods not captured in two days. Moreover, socio-demographical and cultural variables and physical activity information will be collected to complete the analysis. Data are suitable to estimate dietary profiles, dietary adequacy, exposure, environmental impact at population level. As propedeutic to such a study the Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Health (IT representatives in the JPI HDHL management Board) and CREA-AN have organized an innovative training course, based on the activation of different levels of learning and a strong experiential component with the aim of gaining a high level of specialization to collect the dietary data in an harmonized and standardized way. A high degree of motivation is an important factor to manage complex methodology so the main target were nutritionists, dieticians, physicians, pediatricians. The final expected result beyond the pure dietary estimates is the institution of a self-sustainable survey system embedded in a surveillance program managed at public level. A data flow to feed the DEDIPAC toolbox for dietary assessment can be envisaged to share the obtained knowledge. For more information contact CREA-AN