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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 #162862


item Montville, Janice
item Ahuja, Jaspreet
item Haggerty, Etta Susanne
item Moshfegh, Alanna

Submitted to: American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2004
Publication Date: 8/6/2004
Citation: Montville, J.B., Ahuja, J., Haggerty, E., Moshfegh, A. 2004. Portion size and nutrient analysis - new database debuts on web. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 104(8) Supplement:A-33

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Analyzing the energy and nutrient intake from dietary studies requires data on food portion sizes as well as food composition. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) contains a vast assortment of food portion descriptions and associated weights that represent nearly all possible portions of food available to the U.S. population. The FNDDS is used to code and analyze data collected in What We Eat in America, the dietary component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The database has about 30,000 weights for unique food-portion size combinations. The large size is critical to provide the variety of portions that may be collected in dietary studies, particularly of free-living persons who are reporting intake in their own words. In a recent study of 1,573 dietary recalls collected from 525 individuals, a total of 24,415 foods and beverages were reported (an average of more than 15 per person per day). Using the FNDDS, two codes were assigned to each food that was recalled - a food code to represent the food and a portion code to represent how the quantity was described. Approximately 5,300 unique combinations of food and portion codes were assigned, using about 18% of the 30,000 available in the database. Not surprisingly, some portions were used frequently while others were used only once or twice. But, with the vast number of options available, there was a portion weight to quantify every food reported. The FNDDS can be downloaded from the Internet (