Task 3: Key Concepts About Uses of the Dietary Data

Statistics about the population’s dietary intakes, estimated from NHANES data, are used to monitor the nation's diet and to inform and evaluate public policy in the areas of:

NHANES findings have been used to establish national reference data on total population intakes of nutrients from foods and dietary supplements, estimate usual food and nutrient intake of the U.S. population, identify food sources of essential nutrients among population subgroups, and evaluate compliance with current recommendations for food and nutrient intakes by population subgroups, including infants, children, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly.

Researchers in the U.S. and around the world use NHANES dietary data to examine trends and relationships between diet and health using cross-sectional data. NHANES participants also are tracked over time for longitudinal follow-up research studies.   

Information from NHANES is featured in scientific and technical journals and reports.  For data users and researchers throughout the world, survey data are now publicly distributed on the NHANES website.

Primary data users are the HHS and USDA agencies that collaborate in designing, developing, and carrying out the survey. This partnership also extends to other federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.  Research organizations, universities, health care providers, educators, industry, and the general public also have benefited from the survey information in various ways.


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