Dietary exposure assessments for children in europe (the EXPOCHI project): rationale, methods and design
1 Department of Public Health, Ghent University, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
2 RIKILT - Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University and Research centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands
3 Department of Food Safety and Nutrition, National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic
4 Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (AFFSA), France
5 National Institute for Research on Food and Nutrition (INRAN), Rome, Italy
6 Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, Basque Covernement, San Sebastian, CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
7 Risk Assessment Unit, Finnish Food Safety Authority, Helsinki, Finland
8 European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy
9 Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece
10 Livsmedelsverket, NFA - National Food Administration, Sweden
11 Nutrition Research Foundation, Science Park of the University of Barcelona, Spain
12 Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn, Germany
13 Research and Education Institute of Child Health, Strovolos, Cyprus
14 Department of Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Søborg, Denmark
15 National Food and Nutrition Institute, Warsaw, Poland
16 Nutrition Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
17 Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Archives of Public Health 2011, 69:4 doi:10.1186/0778-7367-69-4Published: 24 October 2011
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  to create a relational network of individual food consumption databases in children, covering different geographical areas within Europe, and  to use these data to assess the usual intake of lead, chromium, selenium and food colours.
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.
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.