First ever Research about the Dietary Habits of BiH Citizens officially started

October 30, 2017 1:45 PM

For the first time, the Food Safety Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is conducting research on the food habits of the population in our country.

“A study of the eating habits of the population of BiH that will include two age groups of adolescents aged 10 to 17 and adults aged 18 to 64, started in January this year, and should be completed by the end of 2022. Pilot research is only one part of the project and will be implemented by the end of 2017 so it includes a sample of 10% of the total number of respondents planned within the overall research,” Dzemil Hajric, the director of the Food Safety Agency, said.

The pilot project will, in his words, serve to test questionnaires and protocols of surveys and data entry in the software. Hajric said that according to their information, such a comprehensive research conducted in accordance with the EU MENU methodology has not been done in BiH so far.

“The overall objective of the project is to form a database as the primary source of information for assessing exposure to different chemical contaminants and nutrients in food and the risks to the health of the population, which can also serve as proof of whether food is safe from chemical hazards. Food consumption is very important for assessing consumer exposure to foodborne risks. They enable a more accurate assessment of exposure and help risk managers make food safety decisions,” Hajric added.

He noted that the uniform collection and processing of data on dietary habits of the population is crucial for the adequate exchange and use of data between countries participating in the research and EFSA in the correct way. The application of the unique methodology (EU MENU methodology) in this project at all levels of project realization (surveys, data entry in software, food coding, recipe making, processing and data transfer) will contribute to the harmonization of data with EU data.

“The survey covers two age groups of the population: adolescents from 10 to 17 and adults aged 18 to 64. The BiH Food Biodegradation Project (MENU BiH) will encompass a total of 1,310 BiH citizens, a representative sample for both subgroups of adolescents and adults, which will reflect all the specifics of dietary habits of inhabitants in BiH (men-women 50-50 percent),” Hajric added.

According to him, pregnant women will also be included in the survey sample, and an ad hoc survey for pregnant women with representative samples for targeted population groups will be conducted and at least 130 women will be tested.

Hajric added that the food consumption research will be conducted individually using a 24-hour method of recalling by interviewing respondents (CAPI methodology). The interview will be conducted at the interviewees’ homes with an estimated duration of 30 minutes. Survey of survey respondents will be carried out in the third year of implementation of the project (2019) and will be conducted through all four seasons, seven days a week.



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