Increasing understanding of nutrition and the changing nature of malnutrition have increased interest in diet quality. Owing largely to the apparent lack of national and sub-national level data about diet and diet quality, however, we have little knowledge about dietary patterns, and little understanding of how agriculture, trade, food industry and health policy may be used to improve diet quality.
This paper reviews the growing use of household consumption and expenditure surveys (HCES)— multi-purpose surveys that are routinely conducted in roughly 120 countries—to address this dietary information gap. By virtue of their being household-based and sub-nationally representative, HCES can get beyond the limitations of the long-standing, traditional data source used to inform food policy—FAO Food Balance Sheets –to provide an understanding of sub-national and household level food consumption patterns.
To date, nutritionists have had little knowledge about or involvement with HCES. The confluence of a constellation of factors has now created an opportunity for familiarizing nutritionists with HCES. This paper provides an introduction to and overview of HCES, a description of the activities spawning this opportunity and a case study of Bangladesh. The paper demonstrates how HCES may be used to calculate baseline indicators, which may be used to articulate specific goals and targets, assess progress, identify gaps and prioritize actions, and thereby provide a platform for increasing accountability and commitment to improving nutrition.
This work is an output of the HarvestPlus Programme. The Department for International Development is one of the main donors for HarvestPlus.
Fiedler, John L. and Keith Lividini. 2017. Monitoring population diet quality and nutrition status with household consumption and expenditure surveys: Suggestions for a Bangladesh baseline. Food Security 9 (1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-016-0631-5.
Monitoring population diet quality and nutrition status with household consumption and expenditure surveys: suggestions for a Bangladesh baseline
Published 1 February 2017