Spring 2011


Planning for the Children’s Physical Activity Feasibility Study has begun.DHANES has received funds from the Department of Health and Human Services for a feasibility study to identify additional tests that could be included in NHANES to collect nationally representative data on physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents. Secretary Sebelius has dedicated funds to Obesity Prevention and Fitness, one of four critical priorities for the Department, in line with the 2010 Affordable Care Act: Laying the Foundation for Prevention. The six tests to be included in the study were selected by DHANES staff with the input of experts in the fields of physical activity and kinesiology.  The feasibility study will take place in Gaithersburg, Maryland, from late June through the end of July 2011. Approximately 165 children and adolescents will be recruited to participate in the feasibility study. 

The deadline for laboratory component proposals is June 1, 2011. Collaborators who are preparing a letter of intent for 2013-14 NHANES lab content, please visit the NHANES Proposal Guidelines webpage for detailed guidelines.

A proposal for using text messaging has been approved for sending reminders to morning participants for fasting to try to improve compliance, and reminding participants to call to get STD reports of findings. The text messaging tool will be deployed after receiving IT security approval.

The average wait time associated with the MEC exam has declined over the course of the NHANES surveys, according to an internal report. Debbie Reed-Gillette examined MEC exam time, wait time and total time by age category. 

Audio-CASI instruments in several Asian languages are recently deployed in the field, making self-administered interviews available in Mandarin Chinese (both simplified and traditional formats), Cantonese, Vietnamese and Korean. 

New Publications from NHANES

  • Jaime Gahche et al: Dietary Supplement Use Among U.S. Adults Has Increased Since NHANES III (1988–1994)
  • Anne Looker et al: Vitamin D Status: United States, 2001-2006.
  • Jacqueline Wright et al: Mean Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure in Adults Aged 18 and Over in the United States, 2001-2008
  • Susan E. Schober et al: Health Insurance Affects Diagnosis and Control of Hypercholesterolemia and Hypertension Among Adults Aged 20-64: United States, 2005-2008
  • Cynthia Ogden et al: The Epidemiology of Childhood Obesity in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Book chapter, in Epidemiology of Obesity in Children and Adolescents Prevalence and Etiology, Series: Springer Series on Epidemiology and Health , Vol. 2 Aznar, Luis A. Moreno; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Pigeot, Iris (Eds.) 2011.
  • Kathryn Flegal et al: High body mass index, overweight and obesity in children: Definitions, terminology and interpretation. O'Dea & Eriksen (Eds): Childhood Obesity Prevention – International Research, Controversies and Interventions, Oxford University Press. 2010.

NHANES Announces Deputy Directors

After 10 years as Division Director without any deputies, DHANES director, Cliff Johnson, announced the appointments of three Deputy Directors, in recognition of the increasing complexity of the NHANES program.

NHANES new deputy directors: Lisa Broitman, Lew Berman, and Rosemarie Hirsch.

Lisa Broitman (left) is the Deputy Director for program management and outreach, and will continue to oversee NHANES program formulation, legislative affairs, budget execution, and interactions with administrative officers.  Lew Berman (middle) becomes the Deputy Director for innovation and special studies, responsible for technological and methodological innovations, and collaborations in community and international HANES. Dr. Rosemarie Hirsch (right) will provide oversight on issues related to public health policy and medical science. It is anticipated that there will be many collaborative efforts among the deputies when their expertise overlaps or complements each other. Congratulations to all on their appointments, and best wishes to them on their new endeavors!

Changes for Dietary Data Files

New Dietary Data Webpage

For more convenient access, we have created a new dietary data web, which consolidated all dietary data files throughout the years into one location. This web page provides data collected on the dietary intake, which includes foods, beverages and dietary supplements.  Instead of searching for dietary data in the Examination and Questionnaire components, now you can go to the Data, Documentation, Codebooks, SAS Code section, and find the link to the Dietary page as its own category, listed as an addition to the original five categories (see highlighted link in the screenshot below). 

screenshot of NHANES page with Dietary link highlighted

Dietary Supplement Data Updates

The 2007-2008 dietary supplement use 30-day files have been updated and renamed. The new files still include all variables in past cycles, and include 33 new nutrients/dietary component variables. Analysts are encouraged to read the documentation in order to understand the new names and structure of the files as well as the new variables. Past release cycles will be re-released in the future with the same updates as the 2007-2008. 

For more details, please visit the Changes to the 2007-2008 NHANES Dietary Supplement files page.