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NHANES Dietary Web Tutorial

Dietary Data Survey Orientation

The Survey Orientation course includes five modules:

Module 1. Dietary Data Overview

Module 2. Navigate NHANES Website

Module 3. Dietary Data Structure & Contents

Module 4. Resources for Dietary Data Analysis

Module 5. Overview of NHANES Survey Design and Weighting

These five modules provide a general overview of the dietary data collected by the NHANES, the NHANES website, the structure and contents of NHANES dietary data, additional databases and tools that can be used to conduct dietary analyses, and the NHANES survey design and weighting principles.  A vast amount of dietary data are organized and released in separate data files on the NHANES and USDA websites. These data files are organized according to certain conventions. Moreover, NHANES uses a complex sampling design with sample weights to ensure that the data are nationally representative. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the material covered in these modules will help you be more efficient in finding the information you need for your analysis. 

Whether you are a novice or an experienced analyst, it isrecommend that you review this entire course (Modules 1-5) before proceeding with the rest of the tutorial, as these five modules serve as a roadmap that will help you get oriented quickly or refresh your knowledge of NHANES in general and its dietary data in particular.

Users who wish to pick and choose topics of interest in this course or throughout the tutorial may do so by using the navigation bar to the left or by using the Tutorial A-Z Index.

The course begins with a Dietary Data Overview, where you will learn about the history and methodology of dietary data in NHANES as well as some of the ways in which these data are used. In the next module, Navigate the NHANES Website, you will learn where to find different documents, how to access datasets, and how to get help with NHANES data. The third module, Data Structure & Contents, will show you how the dietary data are organized. Resources for Dietary Data Analysis describes additional sources of food and nutrient data and provides web addresses for accessing these resources on the USDA website. These data are often used in dietary analyses. Finally, Overview of NHANES Survey Design and Weighting describes the complex sampling design of NHANES and explains why and how NHANES sample weights are constructed.

Before you get started:

  • Check out the Dietary Data Tutorial Roadmap to orient yourself to the tutorial’s content.

  • Read the Introduction to find answers to frequently asked questions about NHANES dietary data and this tutorial.

  • Browse through the Logistics section to learn about the web layouts and templates used in the tutorial and find out the basic knowledge and skills you’ll need to use the tutorial.

  • Go to Technical & Software Requirements for information about what’s required to view the tutorials correctly and run the sample programs properly.  This section also is the place to go if you need help with technical problems.

  • Learn how you can earn Continuing Professional Education credits by completing this tutorial.

Course Registration and Quizzes

Go to the CDC/ATSDR Training and Continuing Education Online at If you have not registered as a participant, click on New Participant to create a user ID and password; otherwise click on Participant Login and login.

Once logged in to the CDC/ATSDR Training and Continuing Education Online website, you will be on the Participant Services page.  Click on Search and Register. Enter the course number WB1351 or a keyword under Keyword Search. Click on View.

To get Continuing Education credit, click on the course entitled “NHANES Dietary Tutorial – Dietary Data Survey Orientation.”  Select the type of CE credit you would like to receive and then click the Submit button. You will be prompted to answer three questions about yourself.  After answering the questions, click Submit. A message will appear confirming your registration. After you complete the modules of the course, you will need to complete a final exam and course evaluation to receive Continuing Education credit. A record of your course completion will be stored in the Transcript and Certificate section of the training website.

If you have any questions or problems with the CDC/ATSDR Training and Continuing Education Online website please contact:

CDC/ATSDR Training and Continuing Education Online
1-800-41TRAIN or 404-639-1292
Email at

To learn more about the CEU credit offered for this course, see the Continuing Professional Education page.



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