Global Diet Quality Project

Diet is the most important determinant of health. Multiple forms of malnutrition co-exist with overweight and obesity being the fastest growing form, particularly in developing countries. SDC as a main bilateral donors to address non-communicable diseases aims to close a significant data gap by facilitating the generation of routinely collected and internationally comparable data on diet quality, thereby contributing to a better understanding of dietary trends, awareness, and policies. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Food safety and quality
Basic nutrition
Agricultural policy
Food security policy
Health systems strengthening
01.08.2017 - 31.12.2022
CHF  1’776’000
Background Most countries, at all levels of development, experience multiple forms of malnutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight, nutrient-deficiencies, overweight and obesity). People’s daily diet is one of the most important determinants of health. Improvement of diet could potentially prevent one in every five deaths globally. However, despite diet’s outsized role in terms of health and climate change, there is still no consistently collected, internationally comparable data on diet quality available.
Objectives The overall goal is to generate the first global, public, open-access data on diet quality and to catalyse and enable sustained diet quality data collection and monitoring across countries as a basis for evidence-informed policy decisions and tailored programmes to improve nutrition for all.
Target groups

Direct beneficiaries: national policy- and decision makers, UN organisations and nutrition community

End beneficiaries: consumers all over the world 

Medium-term outcomes

The main outcomes are the following:

Outcome 1: Nutritional or related surveys capture valid diet quality data with minimal cost and effort

Outcome 2: Nutrition, health, and agricultural policies and programmes are informed by diet quality data.


Expected results:  

1) Diet quality questionnaires (DQ-Q) for 92 countries

2) Nationally-representative diet quality data in 40 countries

3) 5 country briefings to disseminate findings in 5 countries

4) a user-friendly web portal

Results from previous phases:   Key results of the entry phase include the convening of a highly competent global Technical Advisory Group (TAG) including world-leading nutrition researchers and representatives from U.N. organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies for identifying the potential to develop an internationally standardized, easy-to-implement survey instrument. Key dimensions of diets that need to be measured (i.e. nutrient adequacy and diets that protect health against non-communicable diseases) were determined and new indicators to measure health-protective diets were developed. A diet quality survey module was developed, pre-tested and piloted. First data was collected in Brazil, Ghana and Tanzania as part of the Gallup World Poll 2018 and 2019 and first results from Ghana and Tanzania has been published in the latest SOFI report 2020.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Foreign private sector North

Coordination with other projects and actors

Project partners: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Gallup Organization Ldt.

Other projects and partners:

GAIN’s Making Markets Work for Nutrition Programme

FAO; WHO; World Committee on Food Security;

SDC’s bilateral programmes to prevent and control non-communicable diseases

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’776’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’633’967
Project phases Phase 99 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025   (Active) Phase 1 01.08.2017 - 31.12.2022   (Current phase)