Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Surveys Research Group » Research » Research Project #426312

Research Project: What We Eat in America - Dietary Survey: Data Collection, Interpretation, Dissemination, and Methodology

Location: Food Surveys Research Group

Project Number: 8040-53000-018-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 5, 2014
End Date: Jan 4, 2019

The overall objective of this project is to maintain and enhance the components of the USDA Dietary Intake Data System to assure that the dietary collection method, the USDA Automated Multiple Pass Method (AMPM), and the supporting systems and databases result in the collection of dietary data that are scientifically sound, accurate, and valid. Objective 1. Conduct research and disseminate data on dietary intakes of the U.S. population through nationwide surveys. Sub-objective 1-1. Oversee dietary data collection and coding. Sub-objective 1-2. Conduct data review and data processing. Sub-objective 1-3. Compile data and provide documentation for public release. Objective 2. Maintain and update supporting survey-related databases based upon scientifically sound research and utilization of technological innovations. Sub-objective 2-1. Update and enhance FNDDS to support the WWEIA data release and research needs. Sub-objective 2-2. Develop and update special purpose databases to support research and policy needs. Objective 3. Assess and update dietary data collection methods and quality control procedures to enhance accuracy of dietary survey data. Sub-objective 3-1. Enhance the protocol to track and identify market changes in foods and beverages to inform dietary data collection methodology. Sub-objective 3-2. Enhance the accuracy and precision of dietary survey data to meet research needs through improvements to data collection methods. Sub-objective 3-3. Document and report changes to dietary data collection methods in concert with WWEIA data releases. Objective 4. Analyze and interpret results from nationwide dietary surveys focusing research on topics to include nutritional adequacy of the American population and at-risk sub-groups, dietary patterns, interrelationships between food component intakes, public health nutritional concerns, and/or policy implications. Sub-objective 4-1. Assess and report on dietary status and nutritional adequacy of U.S. population and population subgroups. Sub-objective 4-2. Serve as expert resource in use of the dietary survey data.

The USDA AMPM is being used to collect 10,000 dietary recalls yearly in What We Eat In America, the dietary interview component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The Food Surveys Research Group, having the lead responsibility for the dietary assessment component of NHANES, will focus on developing and implementing methods such that 1) the dietary collection method collects accurate data and is valid, 2) the data collected meet stakeholder needs and are released in a timely fashion, 3) the systems for data collection and processing are technologically advanced and efficient, 4) the dietary databases to support data analyses are scientifically sound and current so as to reflect the U.S. food supply at the time of data collection, 5) the data are interpreted and reported to address critical and pressing policy issues of the time, and 6) the applications developed for collection and processing are made available to the fullest extent possible. Special purpose databases to support specialized research policy needs, including the Food Patterns Equivalents Database used to assess American diets in relation to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, will be developed and maintained.