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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Surveys Research Group » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #162401


item Anand, Jaswinder
item Raper, Nancy

Submitted to: International Blaise Users Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2004
Publication Date: 4/15/2004
Citation: Anand, J., Raper, N. 2004. USDA's experience using Blaise for collecting food intake data [abstract]. 9th International Blaise Users Conference Abstracts. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Food Surveys Research Group in the U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed an automated questionnaire for collecting dietary intakes of Americans in national surveys, called the Automated Multiple Pass Method (AMPM). The instrument, programmed in Blaise, is one of the largest and most complex Blaise instruments currently used for scientific research. Gathering information about foods consumed by individuals in large scale food surveys requires the collection of a detailed description of each food and the amount eaten. USDA's automated questionnaire consists of a 5-step recall process that collects detailed information about the foods consumed during a 24-hour period. Because of the large number and diversity of foods available for consumption in the U.S., the instrument includes many different questions about specific food attributes. There are approximately 2,500 questions and 21,000 response choices across all types of foods. The large number of questions and responses produce an even larger number of skip patterns, leading to roughly 400,000 possible branching options. Because of the nature of dietary interviewing, interviewers need the ability to add, delete, and change responses to questions about foods as the respondent remembers the information. A number of unique navigation features have been programmed to allow the interviewer this flexibility. The instrument is being used successfully in both a CATI and CAPI environment. Using the AMPM, USDA has been successfully collecting approximately 10,000 intakes annually, since January 2002, for What We Eat in America, the dietary component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The Canadian Community Health Survey is also using the instrument, with a few minor adaptations, to collect approximately 40,000 intakes in 2004.