Food Consumption Score

Indicator Phrasing

% of the target population with acceptable Food Consumption Score

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: % of the target population with acceptable Food Consumption Score

What is its purpose?

The Food Consumption Score (FCS) is a more complex indicator of a household's food security status, as it considers not only dietary diversity and food frequency but also the relative nutritional importance of different food groups.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of the target household representatives assessing for how many days in the past 7 days the household has eaten any of the 16 pre-defined types of food by asking: "I would like to ask you about all the different foods that your household members have eaten in the last 7 days. During this period, for how many days in the past 7 days has your household eaten ..."[gradually name all the 16 types of foods listed in WFP's FCS guidelines –- access below].


2) Sum up all the consumption frequencies of foods belonging to the same food group (there is a total of 9 groups, as listed in WFP's FCS guidelines). Recode the frequency value of each food group above 7 as 7 (e.g. if the total frequency value is 10, recode it as 7).


3) To create new weighted food group scores, multiply the value obtained for each food group by its "importance weight" specified in WFP's FCS guidelines.


4) By adding up the weighted food group scores you calculate the Food Consumption Score (FCS).


5) According to the FCS's value, indicate the percentage of households with “poor” FCS (0 - 21 scores), “borderline” FCS (21,5 - 35 scores) and “acceptable” FCS (35,5 scores and above). However, these thresholds are not valid in all contexts – you might need to modify them based on the dietary patterns of the target population. Carefully read WFP’s Guidance Sheet provided below and consult the Food Security Cluster in your country of operation. 


6) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of households with a FCS higher or equal to a score of 35.5 by the total number of surveyed households. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by 1) size of the household and 2) whether the household is single-headed or not.

Important Comments

1) FCS is prone to seasonal variations. Do your best to collect baseline and endline data at the same time of year; otherwise, it is very likely that they will not be comparable (i.e. providing largely useless data).


2) Make sure you do not collect data during fasting periods, such as pre-Easter or Ramadan.


This guidance was prepared by Tearfund from People in Need’s IndiKit guidance ©

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