Dietary exposure assessments for children in europe (the EXPOCHI project): rationale, methods and design.
Huybrechts I., Sioen I., Boon PE., Ruprich J., Lafay L., Turrini A., Amiano P., Hirvonen T., De Neve M., Arcella D., Moschandreas J., Westerlund A., Ribas-Barba L., Hilbig A., Papoutsou S., Christensen T., Oltarzewski M., Virtanen S., Rehurkova I., Azpiri M., Sette S., Kersting M., Walkiewicz A., Serra-Majem L., Volatier J-L., Trolle E., Tornaritis M., Busk L., Kafatos A., Fabiansson S., De Henauw S., Van Klaveren JD.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: The number of dietary exposure assessment studies focussing on children is very limited. Children are however a vulnerable group due to their higher food consumption level per kg body weight. Therefore, the EXPOCHI project aims 1 to create a relational network of individual food consumption databases in children, covering different geographical areas within Europe, and 2 to use these data to assess the usual intake of lead, chromium, selenium and food colours. METHODS: EXPOCHI includes 14 food consumption databases focussed on children (1-14 y old). The data are considered representative at national/regional level: 14 regions covering 13 countries. Since the aim of the study is to perform long-term exposure assessments, only data derived from 24 hr dietary recalls and dietary records recorded on at least two non-consecutive days per individual were included in the dietary exposure assessments. To link consumption data and concentration data of lead, chromium and selenium in a standardised way, categorisation of the food consumption data was based on the food categorisation system described within the SCOOP Task report 3.2.11. For food colours, the food categorisation system specified in the Council Directive 94/36/EC was used. CONCLUSION: The EXPOCHI project includes a pan-European long-term exposure assessment of lead, chromium, selenium and food colours among children living in 13 different EU countries. However, the different study methods and designs used to collect the data in the different countries necessitate an in-depth description of these different methods and a discussion about the resulting limitations.