Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Raper, N., Perloff, B., Ingwersen, L., Steinfeldt, L., Anand, J. 2004. An overview of USDA's dietary intake data system. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 17:(3-4):545-555.
Interpretive Summary: Dietary data collected through nationwide surveys provide benchmark data on the food and nutrient intakes of the general population and specific subgroups such as those with low-income, children, or the elderly. These data are critical to assessing the impact of the wide array of public food and health programs, to determining food policies, and to setting priorities for future nutrition research. The important uses of the data dictate that they be as accurate and as timely as technology allows. Automated methods for collecting and processing dietary data have been developed by the Food Surveys Research Group at USDA. These automated methods are part of a Dietary Intake Data System, which includes four software programs for data collection, food coding, editing and review, as well as four technical food databases covering food descriptions, weights and measures, recipes and formulas, and food composition. This system will help ensure the quality and efficiency of nationwide survey data which will benefit public policy administrators, nutrition researchers, and other users of the survey data.
Technical Abstract: Automated methods for collecting and processing food intake data have been developed by the Food Surveys Research Group at USDA to increase the quality and efficiency of food intake surveys and other dietary research studies. These automated methods are part of a Dietary Intake Data System, which consists of three computer systems and four technical food databases. Computer systems included are the Automated Multiple Pass Method (AMPM) for collecting food intakes, the Post Interview Processing System (PIPS) for reformatting data and assigning food codes, and Survey Net for final coding, quality review, and nutrient analysis. Features addressing data quality were prominent in the design of each of these systems. Databases included in the system are food codes and descriptions, food weights and measures, recipes and formulas, and the survey nutrient database. These systems are currently used for research projects conducted by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service and for the dietary component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey beginning in 2002. The AMPM, translated into French and adapted to collect data for Canadian foods, will also be used in the next Canadian National Nutrition Survey.