User’s Guide to the Food Consumption Table - Canada.ca
Table of Contents
- What is the Food Consumption Table (FCT)?
- What is the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2 Nutrition Focus (2004 CCHS Cycle 2.2)?
Methodology Used for this Project
- Data Source
- Food Groups
- Body Weight
- Data Release
- Software for Calculations
- Content of the FCT
- How to Cite Data from the FCT
- Limitations in Table Use
List of Working Group Members
Food intake data play an important role in regulations, policy-making, risk assessment and research activities in many organizations within the Department. The Bureau of Food Surveillance and Science Integration (BFSSI) of the Food Directorate developed and prepared the food consumption table (FCT) based on the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, cycle 2.2 Nutrition focus files (2004 CCHS cycle 2.2). This was done in collaboration with the Bureau of Chemical Safety at the Food Directorate and the Existing Substances Risk Assessment Bureau of the Safe Environments Directorate at the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch. Members of this working group are listed in Appendix A. The aim of this project was to meet the increasing needs from evaluators and researchers to conduct exposure assessments using the most recent Canadian food intake data and to ensure consistent use of these data within Health Canada.
What is the Food Consumption Table (FCT)?
The food consumption table, available in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, provides estimates of daily intakes of foods (means and percentiles) obtained using data from the 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2.
Estimates were generated at three different food grouping levels based on the food group list from the Bureau of Nutritional Sciences (BNS). These estimates are presented for two consumption populations: “all persons” and “eaters only”. Each estimate is further broken down by various age- sex categories. For both consumption populations, estimates are available in two different units: 1) grams per person per day and 2) grams per kilogram of body weight per day. The Read Me, Food Group List and Body Weights tabs of the FCT provide detailed information to facilitate its use.
What is the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2 Nutrition Focus (2004 CCHS Cycle 2.2)?
The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) consists of a series of cross-sectional surveys that were initiated in the year 2000, with a main objective of providing timely information on health determinants, health status and health system utilization. It stems from a partnership among Health Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and Statistics Canada. The CCHS is comprised of two types of surveys: an annual component dedicated to general health and a more focused survey on specific health topics. The focused surveys are designed to provide reliable estimates at the national and provincial levels. In 2004, the theme of the CCHS focused survey was nutrition. It provided the first comprehensive national food and nutrient intake data since the Nutrition Canada Survey, conducted nearly 35 years ago.
The main objective of the 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2 was to provide reliable, timely information about dietary intake, nutritional well-being, and their key determinants. This was to inform and guide programs, policies and activities of federal and provincial governments. More detailed information on this survey can be found in the document “Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004) - A Guide to Accessing and Interpreting the Data” developed by Health Canada.1
The target population of the 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2 included all individuals of all ages living in private dwellings in the 10 Canadian provinces. A total sample of approximately 35,000 was selected through a complex sampling plan to ensure that the sample represents the Canadian population with regard to age, sex, geography and socioeconomic status. The target population did not include individuals who were full-time members of the Canadian Forces or who lived in the Territories, on First Nation Reserves or Crown Lands, in prisons or care facilities, or in some remote areas.
However, an attempt was made to oversample adult Aboriginals, aged 19 to 50 years old, living off reserve. Overall, the target population is estimated to represent about 98% of the population of the 10 provinces.
In the 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2; detailed food intake information was obtained through 24-hour dietary recall. A recall was conducted at the time of the interview. A second recall was conducted in a random subset of the complete 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2 sampled individuals. The second recall was conducted on a different day of the week, between 3 and 10 days following the first recall.
The overall response rate at the national level was 76.5%. Permission was asked to all respondents to allow sharing the information collected during the survey with partners such as Health Canada. Only those persons who agreed to share their information with Health Canada are contained in the Share file. The total number of respondents in the Share file is 33,469 individuals.
Methodology Used for this Project
The 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2 Share file was used for deriving estimates of food intake. In this analysis, daily intakes were generated by using only the first 24-hour recall data.
The analysis included all respondents (including pregnant and lactating women) in the Share file who reported one or more food items consumed in their first 24-hour recalls. Those who consumed exclusively human milk were excluded from all analyses as breast milk consumption quantities were not recorded. For the infant formula sub-group (under the main food group of Babyfood products) respondents with any human milk consumption were further excluded in order to focus on the vulnerable sub-population of babies who consume exclusively infant formula.
The subjects were classified into different age-sex groups based on the 15 Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) age-sex groups used by the survey and the recommendations of the FCT working group. The recommendations included a more detailed age breakdown for 0-3 years old (i.e., 0-5 months, 6-11 months, 1 year, 2-3 years) and evaluation of subtotals for ages 0-18 (both sexes combined) and 19+ years (sexes combined or separated). A broader age grouping was applied to the food group of Babyfood products where only two age groups (1-3 and 4+ years) of sexes combined were set up for ages 1+ year.
Estimates were generated for three different and predetermined levels of food grouping – main food group, food group and food sub-group based on the BNS food group list. Ten main food groups (Grain products, Dairy products, Fats, Meats, Meat alternatives, Vegetables, Fruits, Beverages, Babyfood products and Miscellaneous) were defined by the FCT working group and the intakes are presented on ten separate tabs on the FCT (see the tab of Food Group List for a full listing in the Excel file).
To meet the practical needs of dietary exposure assessment, some new food groupings were created by the FCT working group. One such example is the two new food groups for breakfast cereals under the main food group of Grain products: ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and hot breakfast cereals.
These two new groups were created through a recategorization of the foods under the two original breakfast cereal groups: wholegrain and high fibre breakfast cereals, and other breakfast cereals from the BNS food list.
Before they are consumed, certain foods such as dry rice or pasta have to be cooked for a ready-to- eat state. In order to account for the additional moisture content due to cooking, those foods were reconstituted by using conversion factors derived from the CCHS food list by comparing moisture change between prepared and unprepared foods (available upon request to the BFSSI).
Notes about these and other changes can be found on the column of Food Group Name (column A) of the FCT where appropriate.
Arithmetic mean and percentiles [i.e. 50th(P50), 90th(P90) and 95th(P95)] of daily intakes of foods were calculated for each of the food groups using data from the first 24-hour dietary recall of the 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2. Estimates of daily intakes are presented by the age-sex groups agreed upon by the FCT working group. This was done for “all persons” and for “eaters only”. Under each consumption population, estimates are expressed as both grams per person per day (g/person) and grams per kilogram of body weight per day (g/kg body weight/day). Standard errors (SEs) were also calculated for each mean and percentile. All estimates were adjusted according to the instructions from Statistics Canada by using the sampling weights provided in the 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2 data files in order to reflect the Canadian population.2
Body weights were used for calculating intakes in grams per kilogram of body weight per day for the FCT. In the 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2, body weight data (measured or self-reported) are available for respondents aged two years or older. Overall, 66% of all respondents included in the analysis agreed to have their body weight measured and 27.1% had a self-reported value. For respondents whose body weight values were missing (6.9%), the FCT working group decided that it was important not to eliminate their 24 hour recall data. Therefore, imputation was performed to assign body weight values for them. Missing weights for those two years or older were imputed as follows:
- Divide caloric intakes of those with measured body weight into 5 quintiles for each DRI age and sex group;
- Determine median body weight value within each of the caloric groups defined in the previous step;
Assign the median body weight from the corresponding age-sex-quintile caloric group to any respondent with missing value.
After reviewing several options, the FCT working group decided to impute body weights for those under the age of two according to the values provided (through a special data request) by the US Centre of Disease Control (CDC) using data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), 1999-2010 (available upon request to the BFSSI).
The data presented in the FCT follows the data release guidelines from Statistics Canada.2
- Estimates with a coefficient of variation (CV) between 16.6% and 33.3% should be used with caution. These are identified with a blue letter E next to the estimates.
The estimate cannot be reported when any one of the following situations is present. All estimates that are not reported due to situations listed below are identified by a grey letter F.
- the number of eaters is less than 30
- the CV is greater than 33.3%
- the number of eaters is less than 100 for the 90th percentiles
- the number of eaters is less than 200 for the 95th percentiles
Software for Calculations
Statistical Analysis System Enterprise Guide (SAS EG) 4.2 was used to calculate means and percentiles. Standard errors were evaluated using Survey Data Analysis (SUDAAN) software 10.0.3 SUDAAN produces robust variance estimation, increases the accuracy of the estimates and thus the validity of results.
Content of the FCT
A total of 33,343 respondents were included in the analysis for all food groups with the exception of Infant formula group. In the analysis of the Infant formula, a total of 2309 children aged less than 4 years old were used.
The FCT file contains 13 tabs: 3 of them are “Helper Tabs” and the remaining 10 constitute the daily food intake tables for each of the ten main food groups. The Helper Tabs are set up to help users better understand and use the FCT data. They contain: a Read Me tab, a Food Group List tab and a Body Weights tab.
Estimates were generated for 10 main food groups, 48 food groups and 146 food sub-groups. Each tab presents the values for the overall main food group first and followed by each designated food group and food sub-group. For each food entry with the exception of Babyfood products, estimates are presented for each of the 28 age-sex groups. These groups include: 0-5 months, 6-11 months, 1 year, 2-3 years, 4-8 years, 9-13 years, 14-18 years, 19-30 years, 31-50 years, 51-70 years, 71+ years, 0-18 years and 19+ years (sexes combined), and males and females separately for ages 9-13 years, 14-18 years, 19-30 years, 31-50 years, 51-70 years, 71+ years and 19+ years. For food groups of Babyfood products, estimates are available for 4 age groups (0-5 months, 6-11 months, 1-3 years and 4+ years, sexes combined).
Estimates are also presented for the two consumption populations - all persons and eaters only. Under each consumption population, estimates are expressed by grams per person per day and grams per kilogram of body weight per day, respectively.
Specific changes (including food regrouping, food reconstitution, and food item exclusion) are noted on the first column under the corresponding food group.
Filters were set up for the following columns: food group code, age, sex. These allow users to select estimates for specific sub-populations of interest. Comment boxes are added for certain columns (red triangles at top right corner of the column title cells) to further describe the content of the columns. Different font colors (black, blue and grey) are applied to estimates to reflect their reliability. A plus- minus sign (±) is found before all standard errors to make them visually different from means and percentiles.
The Read Me tab was designed as a quick overview of the FCT. It includes all key information about the table including the objective of the FCT, notes, comments, legends as well as how to cite data from the FCT and where to find further help.
The Food Group List tab contains a full listing of all food groups at the three food grouping levels (main food group, food group and food sub-groups) based on the BNS food group list. It also provides a description of the contents of each food group as well as the notes for specific sub-groups, to allow evaluators to rapidly determine where to look for a given food.
The Body Weights tab presents the median body weights of respondents by the 28 age-sex groups included in this analysis. It is included as a reference when needing average body weights for various age-sex groups.
How to Cite Data from the FCT
For published articles, studies, and reports using data extracted from the FCT, suggested citation for the FCT is as follows:
Health Canada (2015). Food Consumption Table derived from Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004), Share file. Ottawa.
Limitations in Table Use
The FCT provides estimates of daily intakes of foods at the predetermined food grouping levels only. Since it is designed for generic use in food and substance exposure assessments, there are some limitations that users should keep in mind to ensure proper use. They are as follows:
- All FCT estimates are daily intake estimates calculated from the first 24-hour dietary recall and reflect food intake amounts on a given day. They are not usual intake estimates, which are calculated from the two dietary recalls using a more complex procedure. Therefore, the estimates from the FCT should not be interpreted as usual amount consumed where usual means the average daily consumption if we could measure intake over a sufficiently long time period.
- All estimates of daily intakes for food groups were generated by combining foods consumed as a food on its own and ingredient in recipes. For example, intakes of eggs on the FCT are the total consumption amount of eggs; for instance, it includes eggs like a hard-boiled egg (food) and eggs used in recipes such as quiches, homemade cakes, etc. Intakes from different cooking sources cannot be separated.
- Intake data are available for the 15 Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) age-sex groups and limited customized age-sex groups. Values from different age-sex groups presented in the FCT cannot be combined. For example, it is not possible and not acceptable to obtain an intake value for 2-8 years old group by combining intake values from the two age groups of 2-3 years and 4-8 years old. For this purpose, the combined groupings "0-18" and "19+" are available, but if more specific groupings are required, please contact the BFSSI for support.
- Intake data for foods that are not commonly consumed might be absent for some age-sex groups on the FCT to comply with the terms and conditions of the data release guidelines of Statistics Canada. Estimates might be able to be presented through a collapse of age groups, this can only be done by a data request to the BFSSI.
- The 2004 CCHS cycle 2.2 was conducted in the ten Canadian provinces. Therefore, food intake data for Aboriginal Canadians on-reserve are not available on the FCT.
Any request beyond what is present on the FCT can be made by contacting Dominique Ibañez, Chief, BioStatistics and Risk Modelling Division, BFSSI, Dominique.Ibanez@hc-sc.gc.ca.
- Health Canada (2006). Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004) - A Guide to Accessing and Interpreting the Data. Ottawa: Health Canada. Available at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/surveill/cchs-guide-escc-eng.pdf.
- Statistics Canada (2008). Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2 (2004), Nutrition – User Guide for General Health (including Vitamin & Mineral Supplements) & 24-Hour Dietary Recall Components. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
- Research Triangle Institute (2008). SUDAAN Language Manual, Release 10.0. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute.
List of Working Group Members:
Bureau of Food Surveillance and Science Integration, Food Directorate, Health Product and Food Branch
Danielle Brulé, Ling Huang, Rong Huang, Patrick Laffey, Kuan Chiao Wang
Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate, Health Product and Food Branch Josée Bouchard, Robin Churchill, Ian Richard
Existing Substances Risk Assessment Bureau, Safe Environments Directorate, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch
Belinda Lo, Angelika Zidek