INFORMAS is the International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support.
Monitoring and benchmarking population diet quality globally: a step-wise approach
Article first published online: 17 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
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Special Issue: INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases, Research, Monitoring and Action Support): rationale, framework and approach
Volume 14, Issue Supplement S1, pages 135–149, October 2013
How to Cite
Vandevijvere, S., Monteiro, C., Krebs-Smith, S. M., Lee, A., Swinburn, B., Kelly, B., Neal, B., Snowdon, W., Sacks, G. and INFORMAS (2013), Monitoring and benchmarking population diet quality globally: a step-wise approach. Obesity Reviews, 14: 135–149. doi: 10.1111/obr.12082
- Issue published online: 17 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 17 SEP 2013
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- International Obesity Taskforce (IOTF)
- University of Auckland
- Deakin University
- The George Institute
- University of Sydney
- Queensland University of Technology
- University of Oxford
- University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
- World Cancer Research Fund International
- University of Toronto
- The Australian National University
- Diet quality;
- ultra-processed foods.
INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support) aims to monitor and benchmark the healthiness of food environments globally. In order to assess the impact of food environments on population diets, it is necessary to monitor population diet quality between countries and over time. This paper reviews existing data sources suitable for monitoring population diet quality, and assesses their strengths and limitations. A step-wise framework is then proposed for monitoring population diet quality. Food balance sheets (FBaS), household budget and expenditure surveys (HBES) and food intake surveys are all suitable methods for assessing population diet quality. In the proposed ‘minimal’ approach, national trends of food and energy availability can be explored using FBaS. In the ‘expanded’ and ‘optimal’ approaches, the dietary share of ultra-processed products is measured as an indicator of energy-dense, nutrient-poor diets using HBES and food intake surveys, respectively. In addition, it is proposed that pre-defined diet quality indices are used to score diets, and some of those have been designed for application within all three monitoring approaches. However, in order to enhance the value of global efforts to monitor diet quality, data collection methods and diet quality indicators need further development work.