New Food Consumption Data Released
By Rosalie Marion
September 23, 2004
After several years of careful planning, new, integrated federal
nationwide food consumption data were launched today on the World Wide Web for
public use. The Agricultural Research
Service food consumption survey (formerly CSFII), known as What We Eat in
America, has been integrated with the National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey, known as NHANES.
The NHANES is conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services (DHHS). ARS is the chief
scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The first release of the integrated
USDA-DHHS dietary survey is entitled
What We Eat In
America, NHANES 2001-2002.
Scientists in the ARS
Research Group, which is part of the
Beltsville (Md.) Human Nutrition
Research Center, worked with their counterparts at the DHHS
National Center for Health Statistics,
which is part of the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, in Hyattsville, Md., to spearhead the integration and
Previously, both federal surveys were conducted periodically,
but the integrated dietary survey is conducted yearly. Before the integration,
during the NHANES, only one day's worth of dietary intake data was collected
from each survey respondent. But two days of data are collected on each of
about 5,000 participants during the new annual survey.
Researchers use a wide range of study designs to analyze the
data. Nutritionists, dietitians and educators rely on those analyses to help
them spot and report key dietary patterns that affect consumers' health.
Various policy makers also rely on such data to develop food assistance and
nutritional education programs.
Today's survey data release represents the first time that the
ARS computerized and enhanced dietary intake interview was used to conduct the
NHANES. The integration of the ARS processing systems and telephone interview
method with the NHANES in-person data collection capability (using a mobile
examination center) highlight an effective government partnership at work.
To access What We Eat In America, NHANES 2001-2002 on the World
Wide Web, go to: