Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2006
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Anand, J., Raper, N., Tong, A. 2006. Quality assurance during data processing of food and nutrient intakes. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 19:S86-S90. Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Summary: The Food Surveys Research Group (FSRG) provides the dietary intake methodology and the processing system for "What We Eat in America," the dietary component of HHS' National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). These data provide benchmark information on the food and nutrient intakes of the U.S. population and are widely used by government, industry and academia to assess the impact of public food and health programs, determine food policies, and set priorities for future research. As a part of this responsibility, FSRG processes approximately 10,000 24-hour dietary recalls each year. A comprehensive and effective quality assurance program is paramount since the data are used to make decisions affecting national policies. Coded 24-hour dietary recalls received at FSRG for final data processing undergo four quality assurance steps as the food intake data are finalized, analyzed for their nutritional content, and formatted for data release. These steps include an evaluation of the overall acceptability of each 24-hour recall, resolution or confirmation of new or unusual foods and amounts reported by respondents, administration of data integrity checks, and verification of 24-hour recalls with extremely high nutrients or food intakes. This program ensures the quality of the nationwide survey data benefiting public policy administrators, nutrition researchers, and other users of the survey data.
Technical Abstract: The Food Surveys Research Group (FSRG) is responsible for methods of data collection and processing of dietary intake data, including the "What We Eat in America Survey," the dietary interview component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Many measures have been implemented to ensure accuracy of the dietary data, such as a state-of-the-art data collection instrument and an extensive food and nutrient database. Also important, but usually receiving less public attention, is the quality assurance taking place during data processing. A four-part quality assurance procedure is used for food intake data processed by FSRG. This includes (1) determination of overall acceptability of each 24-hour recall, (2) resolution of new or unusual foods and amounts, (3) administration of data integrity checks, and (4) verification of 24-hour recalls with extremely high nutrient intakes. Quality assurance not only contributes to the accuracy and validity of a specific set of dietary intake data, it also benefits future studies since findings help identify areas to target for interviewer training or for improvements in data collection and processing procedures.