FAO launches portal for statistics on food and diet

The new FAOSTAT domain focuses on statistics from dietary data

To help close data gaps and contribute to better guidance for nutrition-sensitive agrifood systems policies, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has created a new domain in the FAOSTAT portal.

The domain presents harmonised food and nutrient statistics from different types and sources of dietary data. It reports statistics on the availability, apparent consumption, and dietary intake of foods, energy and 17 main nutrients thus capturing different dimensions across the food supply chain, from supply through to individual-level consumption.

Statistics are available from 2010 for 186 countries in the section on food and nutrient availability, as they are based on the long-standing work done by FAO on food balance sheets – supply utilisation accounts. Apparent food and nutrient intake is derived from data collected in household consumption and expenditure surveys that, so far, are available only in some of the countries. Information on food and nutrient intake is also presented coming from nationally representative individual intake surveys.

The new domain provides critical information about nutrients – going well beyond calories alone. FAO hopes that this will help in setting agrifood system priorities and that it will motivate countries to invest in making data from surveys more readily available.

“Diets are the link between food systems and many nutrition and health outcomes. Robust statistics on food and nutrient availability, and household and individual level food and nutrient consumption is needed to help understand the local situation to be able to develop policies and programs that enable healthy diets for all” said Lynnette Neufeld, FAO Food and Nutrition Director.

“The new domain responds to a critical need to improve the availability of data to inform the transformation of agrifood systems towards one that produces the nutritious and healthy food needed to achieve healthy diets for all. To achieve this, we needed to harmonise food and nutrient statistics that are publicly available, as highlighted during the Committee on World Food Security’s High-Level Panel of Experts in 2023,” said Jose Rosero Moncayo, FAO Chief Statistician and Director of Statistics Division.

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