Main data source

  • DEFRA's Expenditure and Food Survey (DEFRA, 2003) and National Food Survey (DEFRA, 2000).

Data availability and quality

Food consumption data was available in reports on DEFRA's website. Data was extensive and complete for the South West and in useful units (grammes per person per week).

DEFRA effectively recorded the amount of food consumed per resident in the South West (excluding tourists) for 2001, although the Expenditure and Food Survey (DEFRA, 2003) did not cover food eaten out. Data for food eaten out was sourced from the National Food Survey (DEFRA, 2000).

Calculations and proxy measures used

DEFRA reported data in grammes per person per week. This data was scaled up to tonnes of food consumed in the South West in 2001 (see example 3), and categorised into food eaten out or food consumed at home.

Example 3

According to DEFRA, the average South West resident consumed 108 grammes of sugar (Code 15001) per week in 2001.

Sugar consumption (g/person/week) (S) = 108

South West population (Pop) = 4,934,000

Weeks in a Year (W) = 52

Grammes in 1 tonne = 1,000,000

Total sugar consumption = Pop x W x S / 1,000,000

= 4,934,000 x 52 x 108 / 1,000,000

= 27,709 tonnes

Data recommendations

Although the quality and quantity of the food data reported by DEFRA was high, there is one recommendation for further improvement.

  • Food eaten out should be included in the Expenditure and Food Survey. Apparently future reports will contain this information.