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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USDA NATIONAL NUTRIENT DATABANK FOR FOOD COMPOSITION

Location: Nutrient Data

Title: USDA Food and Nutrient Databases Provide the Infrastructure for Food and Nutrition Research, Policy and Practice

Authors
item Ahuja, Jaspreet
item Moshfegh, Alanna
item Holden, Joanne -
item Harris, Ellen

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 9, 2012
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: Ahuja, J.K., Moshfegh, A.J., Holden, J., Harris, E.W. 2013. USDA food and nutrient databases provide the infrastructure for food and nutrition research, policy and practice. Journal of Nutrition. 143:241S-249S.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA food and nutrient databases provide the basic infrastructure for food and nutrition research, nutrition monitoring, and dietary practice. There are four major food and nutrient databases released by the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, part of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. These include the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID), the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) and the USDA Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED). The users of the databases are diverse and include government agencies, food industry, health professionals, restaurants, software application developers, academia, research organizations, international organizations and foreign governments, among others. The purpose of this report is to provide the scientific community a comprehensive overview of these databases, their use in nutrition policy, food and nutrition research, and dietary practice, and the current state of the databases. This would help increase awareness among policy makers, researchers and dietary practitioners of the importance of the databases.

Technical Abstract: The USDA food and nutrient databases provide the basic infrastructure for food and nutrition research, nutrition monitoring, and dietary practice. They have had a long history that goes back to 1892, and are unique, as they are the only databases available in the public domain that perform these function. There are four major food and nutrient databases released by the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), part of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. These include the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID), the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) and the USDA Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED). The users of the databases are diverse and include government agencies, food industry, health professionals, restaurants, software application developers, academia, research organizations, international organizations and foreign governments, among others. Many of these users have partnered with BHNRC to leverage funds and/or scientific expertise to work towards common goals. The use of the databases has increased tremendously in the past few years, especially the breadth of uses. These new uses of the data are bound to increase; with increased availability of technology and public health emphasis on diet related measures such as sodium and calorie reduction. Hence continued improvement of the databases is important, so that they can better address these challenges and provide reliable and accurate data.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014