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Need for an accurate and up-to-date food/nutrient database to track progress against public health goals.  

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: National Nutrition Monitoring
: Betsy Booren32 15 Oct 2012
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The efficacy of a number of national nutrition policies is judged based on nutrient intake levels reported in USDA nutrition monitoring systems. Unless these systems reflect accurate, branded and real-time changes in the packaged food and beverage supply, actual progress against public health goals cannot be measured. Between 2002 and 2009, food companies developed and introduced 20,000 healthier product choices to the marketplace. Of these nutritional improvements, 32% were applied to new products, and 68% were applied to reformulated products. It is imperative that USDA nutrient databases reflect this rapid pace of product reformulation and innovation. A high priority should be placed on expanding and improving current methods of data collection and evaluation to reflect the branded products in the marketplace and actual intake of the USA population. Creating a partnership with the food industry to jointly develop a methodology and process that can be realistically implemented can encourage the packaged food industry to more actively participate in providing USDA with a real time, branded nutritional information.

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