Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2005
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Ahuja, J., Goldman, J., Perloff, B. 2006. The effect of improved food composition data on intake estimates in the United States of America. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 19:S7-S13. Interpretive Summary: The effect of improved food composition data on nutrient intake estimates was determined by reanalyzing dietary intake data from the CSFII 1994-96, 98 with a database wherein only the data improvements replaced the older values. Our results show that improved data resulted in minor but statistically significant (p=0.001) differences in mean intake estimates for most nutrients. It led to changes in the proportion of population with inadequate intakes and in significant changes in the contribution of nutrients from different food groups. These artifactual changes require adjustments to the earlier intake estimates to improve comparability with more current intakes, benefiting the Federal policy administrators and public health researchers who use food consumption data. The USDA Trends Analysis System is designed to facilitate such analyses.
Technical Abstract: Objective: To determine the effect of improved food composition data on nutrient intake estimates in the U.S. Methods: The dietary intake data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals 1994-96, 98 was processed using the Survey Nutrient Database, 1994-96, 1998 version to produce weighted, mean nutrient intake estimates. The data was reanalyzed with the multi-year version of the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS), wherein the data improvements replaced the older values to produce revised nutrient intake estimates. The multi-year FNDDS is a component of the USDA's Trends Analysis System. Mean differences between the old and revised estimates were determined. Results: Improved food composition data resulted in minor but statistically significant (p=0.001) difference in mean intake estimates for most nutrients. Nutrients or food components with greatest differences include - vitamin C, riboflavin, magnesium, and caffeine. As a result of these changes, 4-7% more adults have inadequate intakes of vitamin C and magnesium. Caffeine intakes were lower by about 25%. Changes in the food composition values for fluid milk, coffee, tomatoes, and mixtures appear to have had the most impact. Significance: The USDA Trends Analysis System enables quantification of differences in intakes due to improved food composition data with relative ease. The multi-year version of the FNDDS is available to researchers for use in their research.