UN FAO Introduces New Online Portal for Food and Nutrient Statistics

A Groundbreaking Initiative by UN FAO

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has taken a significant step towards advocating healthy diets and transforming agri-food systems. The organization recently introduced a new online portal as part of the FAOSTAT website, offering harmonized food and nutrient statistics. With data from as far back as 2010, the portal brings together availability, consumption, and dietary intake information for food and 17 essential nutrients across 186 countries. This initiative is a first for the organization, marking the first centralized location for statistics on dietary-related data.

Portal’s Aim and Features

The portal’s primary aim is to guide policymakers by providing accessible data on food and nutrient availability and intake. By doing so, it hopes to address varying forms of malnutrition and food insecurity effectively. The portal comprises four subdomains—food, energy, and nutrient supply, food and nutrient consumption, nationally representative individual quantitative dietary intake surveys, and statistics on the consumption of various food groups.

One of the most significant revelations of the portal has been the global increase in the availability of energy and nutrients between 2010 and 2021. However, variations across different nutrients have also been observed. These insights are pivotal in transforming food policies and practices for a healthier global community.

More Than Just Calories

The portal goes beyond presenting data on caloric intake. It offers availability data based on supply utilization accounts, an apparent intake domain highlighting food and nutrient consumption data in 30 countries, information collected from five nationally representative individual quantitative dietary intake surveys, and statistics on the consumption of various food groups based on the minimum dietary diversity for women.

Comprehensive and Accessible Data for All

FAOSTAT has been providing free access to food and agriculture statistics for over 245 countries and territories. This includes access to 21 SDG indicators under FAO custodianship, market information on important grains, micro datasets collected through surveys, and other related data. The new portal is an extension of FAO’s commitment to collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating food and agriculture statistics for decision-making and policy formulation.

FAO’s activities are comprehensive and operate under the oversight of the Chief Statistician. The organization contributes to global discussions related to food and agricultural statistics and participates in various UN and international statistical bodies. The portal’s user-friendly interface and wide range of customizable features for data visualization and analysis make it a valuable tool for all.

FAO’s Regional Initiatives

FAO’s efforts are not just global but also targeted towards specific regions. For instance, the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean has been actively involved in various consultations and initiatives, as can be seen in the 38th Regional Conference. The new online portal is expected to significantly aid these efforts, providing valuable insights and guidance.

The portal serves as a crucial step towards improving the availability of data to inform the transformation of agri-food systems and enable healthy diets for all. It is a testament to FAO’s commitment to making reliable and comprehensive food and nutrition data accessible and user-friendly for everyone. The organization plans to continue expanding the current dataset, ensuring that it remains a valuable resource for policymakers, researchers, and the global community in their quest for food security and nutrition.

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