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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Dietary Intake Patterns Associated with Excess Adiposity in U.S. Children

Location: Mid South Area (MSA)

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Utilize instruments such as the Dietary Guidelines Adherence Index and analyze previously collected data (e.g. NHANES) to elucidate reasons for unhealthy eating and to determine factors that impact childhood obesity.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
“Dietary Intake Patterns Associated with Excess Adiposity in U.S. Children”; will compare three methods for identifying dietary patterns in U.S. children 2-18 years of age, in terms of their associations with excess adiposity, physical activity, and sedentary behavior, using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. This project will provide insight into modifiable diet and physical activity behaviors associated with excess adiposity in U.S. children.


3.Progress Report
Since March of this year, all relevant datasets from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) website were downloaded and combined them to form one large dataset containing child participants and variables of interest. NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. Exclusion criteria were applied to limit the dataset so that only relevant children would be analyzed. We then conducted a descriptive analysis of the dataset to obtain a ‘picture’ of the nationally representative sample of children in terms of demographic characteristics. A tabulation of all food items consumed by the children and their consumption frequencies was generated from the dataset. These individual foods were then classified into 50-70 food groupings; and several different sets of groupings were considered to allow for flexibility in food group definitions as well as to explore different grouping criteria. An initial principal component analysis, a data reduction technique, was conducted on several of the different food groupings to derive dietary patterns existing among these children.


Review Publications
Williams, D.L., Tortu, S., Thomson, J.L. 2010. Factors associated with delays to diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in women in a Louisiana urban safety net hospital. Women and Health. 50(8):705-718.

Newton, Jr, R.E., Thomson, J.L., Rau, K., Duhe, S., Sample, A., Singleton, N., Anton, S.D., Weber, L.S., Williamson, D. 2011. Psychometric characteristics of process evaluation measures for a school-based childhood obesity prevention study: Louisiana Health. American Journal of Health Promotion. 25(6):417-421.

Tussing Humphreys, L.M., Braunschweig, C.L. 2011. Anemia in postmenopausal women: dietary inadequacy or non-dietary factors. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association. 111(4):528-531.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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