Submitted to: National Nutrient Databank Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 23, 2006
Publication Date: September 18, 2006
Citation: Pehrsson, P.R., Haytowitz, D.B., Holden, J.M. 2006. Food composition information for ethnic populations in the U.S. National Nutrient Databank Conference, September 18-20, 2006, Hawaii. Technical Abstract: Objective: Ethnic populations in the U.S. (e.g., American Indians/Alaska Natives (AIAN), Latinos, African-Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) have diverse diets that relate to their unique cultures and include indigenous plants and animals and foods imported from their native countries. For most, traditional cultural foods are being replaced with less healthy, mainstream foods and more sedentary lifestyles contribute to poorer nutritional status and growing health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The research objective is to provide traditional food composition data critical to monitoring of public health status among different ethnic populations. Materials and Methods: Sampling from all tribes or ethnic population subgroups is cost-prohibitive so they are being selected probability-proportional-to-size (population) across the 50 states or Indian reservations, using 2000 Census or reported tribal enrollment data. Lists of the most highly consumed foods (harvested, hunted, imported, or traditional recipes) are developed from published research, formal and informal health clinic surveys, government surveys, and interviews. Foods are assayed for approximately 100 nutrients using validated analytical methodology and rigorous quality control procedures under the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program. Results: Over 100 AIAN and 30 Latino foods have been analyzed to date. Preliminary results show tribal foods are often lower in sodium than mainstream foods and rich in healthful nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., wild fish) and phytonutrients (e.g., wild berries). Significance: Nutrient data on traditional foods, crucial to monitoring the public health status of ethnic groups, are available in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), NDL Web site: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata. Funding: USDA and NIH, Agreement No. Y1CN5010.