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Research data supporting "Discrepancies between two long-term dietary datasets in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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Smith, Kerry 
Scheelbeek, Pauline 


IMPORTANT: there is a later version of this dataset at (version 3)


This data supports the publication titled 'Discrepancies between two long-term dietary datasets in the United Kingdom (UK)'.

Longitudinal dietary data for the United Kingdom (UK) on food supply, provided by FAO food balance sheets (1961-2018) (FAO-FBS), and food purchases, provided Defra household budget surveys (National Food Survey [1942-2000] and Family Food Module [2001-2018]) (Defra-HBS).

Studying dietary trends can shed light on progress towards healthier and more sustainable diets but longitudinal data are often confounded by lack of standardized methods. Two main data sources are often used for longitudinal analysis of diets: food balance sheets (per capita food supply estimated from production and trade data) and household budget surveys (household surveys on food purchased). The impact of these different collection methods has not been quantified for the UK. The data provided here were used to assess how trends in dietary change compared between the two collection methods for calories, meat and fish, nuts and pulses, and dairy, and how disparities between FAO-FBS and Defra-HBS have changed over time. These food types are comparable between FAO-FBS and Defra-HBS and can be used to monitor consumption and protein intake. The primary differences in quantities estimated by FAO-FBS and Defra-HBS occur in part due to inclusion of retail waste in FAO data and likely under-reporting of consumption in Defra data.

“DataFrom_Figures_2_3_4_Tables_2_3” contains data used in the figures and tables of this publication.

UK National Food Survey data for 1942-1973 were downloaded on 08/01/2020 from National Food Survey data are named: “Household nutrient data from 1940 to 2000 – 1940-2000” and “Household consumption of selected foods from 1942 to 2000 – 1942-2000”.

UK Family Food data for 1974 onwards were first downloaded on 19/02/2020 from Datasets are named “UK - household purchases”, “UK - eating out purchases” and “UK - household and eating out nutrient intakes”.


Software / Usage instructions

Microsoft Excel


data science, DEFRA, FAO, Food Balance Sheets, food consumption, food production, Household budget surveys, longitudinal dietary data



NERC (1796601)
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