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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: WHAT WE EAT IN AMERICA - DIETARY SURVEY: DATA COLLECTION, INTERPRETATION, DISSEMINATION, AND METHODOLOGY

Location: Food Surveys

Title: What We Eat In America Food Categories

Authors
item Rhodes, Donna
item Clemens, John
item Hoy, M Katherine
item Adler, Meghan
item Goldman, Joseph
item Moshfegh, Alanna

Submitted to: Worldwide Web Site: Food Surveys Research Group
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: July 2, 2013
Publication Date: July 3, 2013
Citation: Rhodes, D.G., Clemens, J.C., Hoy, M.K., Adler, M.E., Goldman, J.D., Moshfegh, A.J. 2013. What We Eat in America Food Categories. Worldwide Web Site: Food Surveys Research Group. Available: www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm? docid=23429.

Interpretive Summary: Detailed analysis of food and beverage consumption of the U.S. population is limited, yet critical for developing food guidance programs and for dietary surveillance. The What We Eat In America (WWEIA) Food Categories, developed by the Food Surveys Research Group (FSRG), provides an application for analyzing foods and beverages as consumed in the American diet. Each of the food and beverage items that can be reported in our national survey, What We Eat In America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), is sorted into approximately 150 unique and mutually exclusive food categories. Designed to be flexible, the categories can be combined as necessary to address specific research questions. A new version of the WWEIA Food Categories is produced for each 2-year release cycle of NHANES and available on the FSRG Web site www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/fsrg. Potential uses of the WWEIA Food Categories include development of food guidance programs and educational materials, monitoring food intake, and identifying food trends.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of the What We Eat In America (WWEIA) Food Categories is to provide an application for analyzing foods and beverages as consumed in the American diet. Each of the 7,000+ codes in the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) are sorted into 150 mutually exclusive food categories; each category has a 4-digit number and description. The focus of this categorization system is on grouping foods and beverages together that have similar usage and nutrient content. The categories contain discrete food codes and are not disaggregated. The WWEIA Food Categories are intended for use with dietary intake data from WWEIA, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the USDA FNDDS; a new version is produced for each 2-year release cycle. The WWEIA Food Categories are used to produce data tables summarizing food and beverage intakes of the U.S. population by the Food Surveys Research Group. They are available on the FSRG Web site www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/fsrg and can readily be used by other researchers.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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