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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USDA NATIONAL NUTRIENT DATABANK FOR FOOD COMPOSITION

Location: Nutrient Data

Title: Update of NDL’s list of key foods based on the 2007-2008 WWEIA-NHANES

Authors
item Haytowitz, David
item Holden, Joanne

Submitted to: Home Page
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2012
Publication Date: May 16, 2012
Citation: Haytowitz, D.B., Holden, J.M. 2012. Update of NDL’s list of key foods based on the 2007-2008 WWEIA-NHANES. Available: www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.

Interpretive Summary: The Nutrient Data Laboratory is responsible for developing authoritative nutrient databases that contain a wide range of food composition values of the nation's food supply. This requires updating and revising the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) and developing various special interest databases. However, with nearly 8,000 food items in SR, analyzing every food item for every nutrient and meeting all user requirements is not possible. Consequently, priorities must be determined. To accomplish this task a list of Key Foods has been identified as those food items that contribute up to 75% of nutrients of public health significance (total fat, energy (Kcal), total sugars, total dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, vitamin A (RAE), beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin B12, total choline, dietary folate equivalents, cholesterol, and total saturated fatty acids) to the dietary intake of the U.S. population. To generate the list of Key Foods, nutrient data from Release 22 of the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference individual Dietary were linked to consumption data from the What We Eat in America component of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-08. Using this process, 518 unique food items were identified and ranked using the weighted contribution of each nutrient in a food. The list was then ranked and divided into quartiles, with the first quartile containing 11 food items—primarily basic commodities such as eggs, milk and other frequently consumed foods. The 2nd quartile contains 32 additional food items, while the 3rd quartile contains another 86 food items for a total of 129 foods contributing 75% of the dietary intake of the aforementioned nutrients. This list is a critical component of NDL’s analytical program and is being used to set priorities for analyses under the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program.

Technical Abstract: The Nutrient Data Laboratory is responsible for developing authoritative nutrient databases that contain a wide range of food composition values of the nation's food supply. This requires updating and revising the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) and developing various special interest databases. However, with nearly 8,000 food items in SR, analyzing every food item for every nutrient and meeting all user requirements is not possible. Consequently, priorities must be determined. To accomplish this task a list of Key Foods has been identified as those food items that contribute up to 75% of nutrients of public health significance (total fat, energy (Kcal), total sugars, total dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, vitamin A (RAE), beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin B12, total choline, dietary folate equivalents, cholesterol, and total saturated fatty acids) to the dietary intake of the U.S. population. To generate the list of Key Foods, nutrient data from Release 22 of the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference were linked to consumption data from the What We Eat in America component of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-08. Using this process, 518 unique food items were identified and ranked using the weighted contribution of each nutrient in a food. The list was then ranked and divided into quartiles, with the first quartile containing 11 food items—primarily basic commodities such as eggs, milk and other frequently consumed foods. The 2nd quartile contains 32 additional food items, while the 3rd quartile contains another 86 food items for a total of 129 foods contributing 75% of the dietary intake of the aforementioned nutrients. This list is a critical component of NDL’s analytical program and is being used to set priorities for analyses under the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014