Developing a food composition database to tackle diet-related non-communicable diseases in Kenya

Diet related non-communicable diseases are emerging as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa. In 2015, approximately 12% of deaths were attributable to cardiovascular diseases and this was projected to rise to 16% by 2030. This increase has been strongly linked to change in dietary habits including consumption of foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. There is lack of comprehensive, large database that can allow detailed evaluation of state of the packaged food supply in Kenya. To enable novel interventions to improve population diets, it is vital to gain insights into the healthiness of the food supply in Kenya.

The aim of this project will be to develop a nutrition composition database of packaged foods and beverages that are sold in Kenyan supermarkets. Data collection was conducted in the months of June and July 2019 using a data collection app in five major supermarkets in the country.

A total of 6000 packaged food and beverage products were categorized in accordance with the Global Food Monitoring Group categorization system. Baseline analysis of the level of saturated fat, salt and sugar will be conducted to identify the main sources of these nutrients. In addition, data will be analysed to determine the level of compliance to labelling regulations to identify gaps for policy interventions.