Uses Of The Data

As shown in Table 1, evaluations of diet quality and tracking changes in the diet over time have many useful federal, state, and local applications, including policy formation, program planning, and nutrition education. Users of the survey data include federal government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission, and numerous USDA agencies; state agencies and larger county health departments; food and agricultural industries; and universities. The data are used to determine the food choices Americans make and to evaluate the content and adequacy of their diets in relationship to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (1); other federal government statements of dietary policy, such as the year 2000 nutrition objectives (2); and the National Academy of Sciences' Recommended Dietary Allowances (3). Health interventions such as the National Cancer Institute's "5-A-Day for Better Health Program" (4) and nutrition education materials such as the Food Guide Pyramid (5) are developed and targeted based on survey results. The data are also used to assess the nutritional impact of the USDA's food assistance programs; to estimate exposure to pesticide residues, food additives, and contaminants; to develop food fortification, enrichment, and food labeling policies; and to assess the demand for agricultural products and marketing facilities.

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