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Br J Nutr. 2010 Jun;103(12):1823-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510000085. Epub 2010 Feb 26.

Energy and macronutrient intakes in Belgium: results from the first National Food Consumption Survey.

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Unit of Epidemiology, Scientific Institute of Public Health, Brussels, Belgium.


Belgium until recently lacked a systematic survey of dietary habits of its inhabitants. The present study evaluated dietary composition in Belgium with respect to energy and macronutrient intakes. Information on food intake was collected using a repeated non-consecutive 24 h recall (2-8 weeks apart) with the validated software package EPIC-SOFT, in combination with a FFQ (self-administered) covering sixty food items. The database of consumed food items was linked to food composition data. Usual macronutrient intake was estimated by the Nusser method. A representative sample of the Belgian population was randomly selected from the national register following a multi-stage procedure. Information on dietary intake was obtained from 3245 subjects aged 15 years and older. Mean energy percentage (E %) of total fat (37.9 E %) and SFA (16.0 E %) was higher than the dietary reference intakes (DRI). Mean E % of total carbohydrates (45.8 E %) was lower than the DRI, while mean E % of mono/disaccharides was 20.3. Total fat and SFA intakes were higher and total carbohydrate and sugar intakes were lower in the older age categories than in the younger age categories. The percentage of energy from SFA intake was lower and that from carbohydrates was higher than that found in an earlier Belgian study. Further efforts are necessary to improve dietary macronutrient intake, taking into account differences in age categories. In addition, it will be important to monitor its changes regularly using trend analyses.

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