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Expansion of National Nutrition Monitoring 

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: National Nutrition Monitoring
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: Gregory Miller22 15 Oct 2012
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National nutrition monitoring programs are invaluable as a common information base for food composition data and information on consumption patterns and nutrient intakes of Americans. With the collective goal of helping Americans achieve better quality diets and health, these datasets are widely used across government programs, in nutrition and health related research and for education materials. The “National Nutrient Databank” of food composition data and “What We Eat In America (WWEIA)” NAHNES data, including the “Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies” resource, support many programs across the dairy industry. Product research through the National Dairy Foods Research Centers has led to development of products to help improve nutrient intakes by Americans; e.g. mozzarella with vitamin D, cheeses with added fiber or probiotics, reduced sodium cheeses, potassium enhanced cheeses. Information about intakes of dairy foods and their nutrients from WWEIA NHANES data has enhanced research1-8 and education to help close nutrient gaps, such as for calcium, vitamin D and potassium, and build healthier diets. The knowledge-base on relationships between consumption of dairy foods and health related benefits (e.g., cardiovascular disease risk reduction with higher dairy intake9) also has advanced through availability of these resources. Expanding the National Nutrient Databank to include a wider array of foods and food ingredients in the rapidly evolving, dynamic marketplace would have several advantages. Reducing lag times between the in-market availability of foods and their inclusion in the food composition database could lead to a more real-time snapshot of foods consumed by Americans that could then inform new research and education initiatives. Greek-style yogurt, for example, has recently seen phenomenal growth in the market-place. However, Greek-style yogurts currently are not in the food composition database, thus, it is not possible to evaluate how market growth may be positively influencing nutrient intakes by Americans using the most current WWEIA NHANES data. Information on the extent to which the foods in the food composition database represent the market-basket of foods available to consumers could more efficiently support efforts to understand changes in the marketplace; e.g., changes in the sodium content of foods from industry-wide sodium reduction initiatives. Improved functionalities to the National Nutrition Monitoring databases also could serve to further advance innovative product development as well as research using the WWEIA NHANES data to improve on efforts to help Americans achieve healthier diets. Enhancing the infrastructure of the food composition database could include, for example, features to readily download food composition data into excel files, expanded capacity to conduct customized searches, and tools to easily sort foods by food group, nutrient(s) and other components. The WWEIA NAHNES data on the USDA website is an excellent resource for food and nutrient intakes; however, obtaining customized information from the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, such as dairy’s contribution to nutrient intakes by demographic or at specific eating occasions, currently requires a level of technical expertise that many researchers do not have. Expanding the capacity to utilize this and related databases would serve to enhance research and education programs that could lead to shifts in food choices to more nutrient dense dietary patterns, including increased dairy consumption, and better health. References 1. Drewnowski A. The contribution of milk and milk products to micronutrient density and affordability of the U.S. diet. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2011; 30(5 Suppl 1): 422S-8S. 2. Fulgoni VL, 3rd, Keast DR, Auestad N, Quann EE. Nutrients from dairy foods are difficult to replace in diets of Americans: food pattern modeling and an analyses of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006. Nutrition research (New York, NY) 2011; 31(10): 759-65. 3. Nicklas TA, O'Neil CE, Fulgoni VL, 3rd. The role of dairy in meeting the recommendations for shortfall nutrients in the American diet. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2009; 28 Suppl 1: 73S-81S. 4. McGill CR, Fulgoni VL, 3rd, DiRienzo D, Huth PJ, Kurilich AC, Miller GD. Contribution of dairy products to dietary potassium intake in the United States population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2008; 27(1): 44-50. 5. Fulgoni VL, 3rd, Huth PJ, DiRienzo DB, Miller GD. Determination of the optimal number of dairy servings to ensure a low prevalence of inadequate calcium intake in Americans. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004; 23(6): 651-9. 6. Kirkpatrick SI, Dodd KW, Reedy J, Krebs-Smith SM. Income and race/ethnicity are associated with adherence to food-based dietary guidance among US adults and children. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2012; 112(5): 624-35 e6. 7. Zizza CA, Xu B. Snacking Is Associated with Overall Diet Quality among Adults. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2011. 8. Deshmukh-Taskar PR, Radcliffe JD, Liu Y, Nicklas TA. Do breakfast skipping and breakfast type affect energy intake, nutrient intake, nutrient adequacy, and diet quality in young adults? NHANES 1999-2002. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2010; 29(4): 407-18. 9. Lopez EP, Rice C, Weddle DO, Rahill GJ. The relationship among cardiovascular risk factors, diet patterns, alcohol consumption, and ethnicity among women aged 50 years and older. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2008; 108(2): 248-56.

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