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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Development and evaluation of a method for calculating the Healthy Eating Index-2005 using the Nutrition Data System for Research

item Miller, Paige
item Mitchell, Diane
item Harala, Priscilla
item Pettit, Janet
item Smiciklas-wright, Helen
item Hartman, Terryl

Submitted to: Public Health Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2010
Publication Date: 6/6/2010
Citation: Miller, P.E., Mitchell, D.C., Harala, P.L., Pettit, J.M., Smiciklas-Wright, H., Hartman, T.J. 2010. Development and evaluation of a method for calculating the Healthy Eating Index-2005 using the Nutrition Data System for Research. Public Health Nutrition. 25:1-8.

Interpretive Summary: The Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) is used to assess the diet quality in Americans based on methodology developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The existing methods are not directly transferable to other applications making it difficult to calculate HEI for many research studies. Methodology to calculate HEI 2005 using a research application was developed and evaluated against values calculated based on the USDA data and methods. This work contributes to the dietary methodology literature by demonstrating that diet quality assessed by HEI-2005 can be calculated using other applications commonly used in research and is comparable to the existing USDA methods.

Technical Abstract: Objective: To develop and evaluate a method for calculating the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) with the widely used Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) based on the method developed for use with the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrient Dietary Data System (FNDDS) and MyPyramid Equivalents Database (MPED). Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Non-institutionalized, community-dwelling adults aged 70 years and above. Subjects: Two hundred and seventy-one adults participating in the Geisinger Rural Aging Study (GRAS) and 620 age- and race-matched adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2002 (NHANES) were included in the analysis. The HEI-2005 scores were generated using NDSR in GRAS and compared to scores generated using FNDDS and MPED in NHANES. Results: Similar total HEI-2005 scores (mean 62?0 (SE 0?75) in GRAS v. 57?4 (SE 0?55) in NHANES) were estimated, and the individual components most strongly correlated with total score in both samples were compared. Cronbach’s coefficient a values of HEI-2005 were 0?52 in GRAS and 0?43 in NHANES. Conclusions: Since NDSR is commonly used for educational purposes, in clinical settings and in nutrition research, it is important to develop methodology for assessing diet quality through the use of HEI-2005 with this dietary analysis software application and its accompanying food and nutrient database. Results from the present study show that HEI-2005 scores can be generated with NDSR using the method described in the present study and the detailed USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion technical report as guidance.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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