National level

Lesson 6 : Diet Survey

National level

Food Balance Sheet (FBS):

This method is employed, when information regarding the availability of food is needed at macro level i.e. country or region.

The FBS are computed on the basis of total food supplies available for human consumption at retail level for a given country/region from different sources during a reference period of one year. The computation takes into account the amount of the food used for purpose of animal feeds, exports, seeds and wastages.

The availability of any specific food is estimated using the following formula

Per caput availability per day (g) = h


  1. It gives a comprehensive picture of pattern of country’s food supply.
  2. Trends in food supply in a country is known, if compiled over different years.
  3. Dietary pattern of the population can be known
  4. The availability of food supplies per person relative to other countries can be known.
  5. Administrators and planners can have a broad idea about the availability and deficit of food in the country and to take proper steps to remedy them.
  6. Useful for food programme formulation/ for rationing of food/for exceptional conditions.


  1. The allowance is made for inedible portion also. No allowance is made for the wastage of edible portion between the retail level and consumption level.
  2. Since the distribution and other things are not taken care of, and only the average is calculated, the actual dietary consumption will not be known through the food balance sheets.
  3. Accuracy depends on reliability of statistics of population/ supply/ non food supply/ wastage etc.
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