U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska



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Agricultural Research Magazine 60(3): March 2012 pp. 23; ISSN 0002-161X


The ARS human nutrition monitoring program helps watch over the healthfulness of the country’s food supply and diet. This includes determining the food consumption and dietary patterns of Americans as a whole and for a variety of subgroups based on characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, and income.

Unique national resources that contribute to the success of the ARS human nutrition monitoring program include the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and the national “What We Eat in America” survey, which is the dietary intake survey component of the broader National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, commonly referred to as “NHANES.”

Data on national dietary habits from this program serve as the foundation for many epidemiological (population) studies of diet and health. The information developed by the ARS human nutrition monitoring program provides invaluable information to policymakers, farmers, food processors, and manufacturers, as well as researchers.