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Ellen Harris and Alvin Nowverl view report of nutrition data. Link to photo information
Ellen Harris, assistant center director (left), and Alvin Nowverl, mathematical statistician, have launched Version 2 of the Community Nutrition Map. Click the image for more information about it.

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State, National Nutrition Info on Updated Website

By Rosalie Marion Bliss
December 27, 2007

An updated web resource that provides a snapshot of state and national health and nutrition indicators has been launched by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. The resource, called the Community Nutrition Map (CNMap), Version 2, was developed at the ARS Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) at Beltsville, Md.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) chief scientific research agency.

CNMap is part of the BHNRC's Community Nutrition Initiative coordinated by Ellen Harris, assistant center director. CNMap provides user-friendly information on food and nutrition indicators by state—compared to national levels—for nutritionists, researchers, educators and consumers.

Easy-to-read customized tables and color-coded maps can be accessed by anyone on the Internet. Indicators include data on estimated nutrient intakes, eating patterns, physical activity, body weight, demographics and food security. Food security is defined as an individual's ability to access enough food to lead an active, healthy life. Policy makers and public health workers can use these profiles to investigate diet and health issues that may be of concern both at the local and state level.

Indicators are obtained from a variety of sources. The primary source of data for Version 2 is "What We Eat in America," the BHNRC-managed dietary intake interview component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. These data are combined with data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

The Map Gallery provides percentages of individuals, state-by-state, who meet food group recommendations, which include specified amounts of vegetables, grains, fruits, meats and dairy. Users can also look up percentages of individuals, state-by-state, who are at risk of nutrient inadequacy, or excess, for specific nutrients from food sources.

To access the Community Nutrition Map, Version 2, go to this web page. Then, click on any state to begin viewing data.