March is National Nutrition Month and NCHS has been collecting dietary data on the U.S. population for more than 40 years. The primary data source for monitoring nutrition in the U.S. is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which uses personal interviews, standardized physical examinations and laboratory tests. Through NHANES, NCHS obtains nationally representative data on dietary intake and behaviors, biomarkers of nutritional status, body measurements (such as height and weight) and body composition.
NHANES data on dietary intake (food, beverages, and dietary supplements) are used to estimate food and nutrient intakes by the U.S. population and by specific age, gender, race/ethnic groups.
Here are some Findings from NHANES:
- Approximately 13 percent of adults’ total caloric intake came from added sugars in 2005-2010.
- Approximately one-half of the U.S. population consumes sugar drinks on any given day between 2005-2008.
- Use of dietary supplements is common among the U.S. adult population. Over 40% used supplements in 1988–1994, and over one-half in 2003–2006.
- Data from 2007-2010 showed that adults consumed, on average, 11.3 percent of their total daily calories from fast food.