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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Montville, Janice

Submitted to: American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2006
Publication Date: 11/1/2006
Citation: Bodner-Montville, J. 2006. How much we eat in America -- experiences estimating food intake: Translating food portions into nutrients [session 211]. ADA 2006 Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo: CD-ROM Day 3. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Complete collection of food consumption data is only the first step in dietary assessment. The details about foods and amounts that are recalled by individuals must be converted into standard units for calculation of nutrients. The USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) is a tool for translating foods and portions from the common terms used to report them during a diet recall into gram weights that can be used to calculate nutrient values for those portions. This database contains more than 13,000 foods, approximately 29,000 portion-weights for those foods and 63 nutrient values for each food. The FNDDS is used to process and analyze the dietary recalls collected in What We Eat in America, the dietary interview component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The most recent version of the database, FNDDS-2.0, corresponds to the dietary data collected in NHANES 2003-2004. The FNDDS is available free from the internet ( as a set of ASCII files or as a Microsoft Access® database. MS Access® queries can be used to extract information on foods, portions, and nutrients from the FNDDS. Session participants will be shown how to use the database in conjunction with the USDA 2-Dimensional food models. Sample MS Access® queries will be demonstrated, including how they can be customized. The “What’s in the Foods You Eat – Search Tool” will also be demonstrated. This free tool, available from, can be used to compare energy and nutrient content of different foods and portions. Searches can be done online or the search tool can be downloaded.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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