BNFCS Belgian National Food Consumption Database

The National Food Consumption Database is a dataset on food consumption across Belgium.

What is the Belgian National Food Consumption Survey (BNFCS) 2004?

The Belgian National Food Consumption Survey (BNFCS) 2004 was the first national-level dietary survey conducted in Belgium, financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Public Health and Environment and conducted by the Unit of Epidemiology of the Scientific Institute of Public Health in collaboration with the National Institute of Statistics, the Department of Public Health (University of Ghent) and the Department of Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Health Promotion of the School of Public Health (Université Libre de Bruxelles).


The BNFCS 2004 survey followed the recommendations of the European Food Consumption Survey method project to facilitate the harmonisation of the methodology of collecting comparable food consumption data across Europe. Food intake information was collected using a repeated non-consecutive 24-hour recall with a self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Face-to-face interviews were carried out for additional data collection for food safety on a household level. In the 24-hour recall interviews, the types and quantities of foods and drinks consumed over the last full day by the respondents were gathered.


Two modules were used to gather the data. The first module obtained information on the demographics of all the members of the household, relationship to the reference person, age, sex, and educational level. The second module gathered data on employment, smoking behaviour, leisure time, physical activity, perceived health and prevalence of five nutrition-related diseases (diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular diseases and food allergy). Waist circumference and weight were also measured for the respondents.


Sampling for survey participants was done based on the National Register of Belgium, stratified per region, province and community. More than 3200 individuals were questioned by 64 trained dieticians that were recruited by the National Institute for Statistics (NIS). For the 24-hour recall, a computerized standardized interview programme called EPIC-soft was used. A written questionnaire was provided to be filled up by the survey participants that evaluated the exposure to fat-soluble contaminants such as PCBs and dioxins, exposure to water-soluble contaminants such as pesticides, and exposure to food preservatives and additives.

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Datasets available in BNFCSfood consumption database

Related questions about the BNFCS Food Consumption Database

How do I access the BNFCS 2004 database?

The datasets of the Belgian Food Consumption Survey 2004 have been made available for all external users. The guidelines for data accessing and usage are provided on the general information page of the official website. Specific protocols for the users can be found either in French or in Dutch.

General information page for usage

Individuals interested in using the  Belgian Food Consumption Survey 2004 data need to fill in the request forms below and send it to:

Scientific Institute of Public Health

Unit Epidemiology

Stefanie Vandevijvere

Rue J. Wytsmanstraat 14

1050 Brussels

Tel. : 02/642 57 52

Fax : 02/642 54 10

e-mail :

Links for the request forms: French or in Dutch

How is the Belgian National Food Consumption Survey 2014 useful for companies and organisations?

The BNFCS 2004 database serves the purpose of supporting policymakers and producers in the assessment of accurate exposure of the population to contaminants. It helps to assess the nutritional status of population subgroups, set targets regarding healthy diet and monitor temporal progress in this domain.

Following are more discrete usage of the BNFCS 2004 datasets:


  • Gain information on average food and nutrient intake of the population at the individual level
  • Estimate intake of contaminants, additives and other chemicals in food]
  • Examine the differences in meal pattern, energy intake, food an nutrient intake between different subgroups of the population based on sociodemographic and age variables
  • Identify subgroups at the risk for a deficient or excessive intake of specific food-borne hazard
  • Translate dietary recommendations based on nutrients while producing
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