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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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IMPROVING DATA TO ANALYZE Food and Nutrition Policies

Panel on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making

Committee on National Statistics

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. 43-3AEM-3-80119 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Support of the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (Number SBR-0112521). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2005). Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Panel on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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PANEL ON ENHANCING THE DATA INFRASTRUCTURE IN SUPPORT OF FOOD AND NUTRITION PROGRAMS, RESEARCH, AND DECISION MAKING

JOHN KARL SCHOLZ (Chair),

Department of Economics and Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison

F. JAY BREIDT,

Department of Statistics, Colorado State University

RONETTE BRIEFEL,

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey

WILLIAM F. EDDY,

Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University

ANDREW GELMAN,

Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science, Columbia University

ALAN R. KRISTAL,

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington

BARRY M. POPKIN,

Division of Nutrition Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina

LAURIAN J. UNNEVEHR,

Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

WALTER WILLETT,

Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Harvard University, and Harvard Medical School

EARL S. POLLACK, Study Director

MICHELE VER PLOEG, Study Director (until October 2004)

JAMIE CASEY, Research Associate

TANYA M. LEE, Program Assistant (until October 2004)

MICHAEL SIRI, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2004-2005

WILLIAM F. EDDY (Chair),

Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University

KATHARINE ABRAHAM,

Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland

ROBERT BELL,

AT&T Research Laboratories, Florham Park, New Jersey

LAWRENCE D. BROWN,

Department of Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

ROBERT M. GROVES,

Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, and Joint Program in Survey Methodology

JOHN HALTIWANGER,

Department of Economics, University of Maryland

PAUL W. HOLLAND,

Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey

JOEL L. HOROWITZ,

Department of Economics, Northwestern University

DOUGLAS MASSEY,

Department of Sociology, Princeton University

VIJAY NAIR,

Department of Statistics and Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan

DARYL PREGIBON,

Google, Inc., New York, New York

KENNETH PREWITT,

School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

LOUISE RYAN,

Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University

NORA CATE SCHAEFFER,

Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison

CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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Acknowledgments

On behalf of the panel, I would like to thank all of the individuals involved in the production of this report. First, I thank my fellow panel members for giving their time and expertise so generously toward the completion of this report. Each of their contributions to the discussion at the workshop and in the drafting of this report is greatly appreciated.

A major activity of this panel was a workshop, held in May 2004. I thank everyone who presented information and shared their ideas for improvements in the food consumption and expenditures data infrastructure. Their willingness to share these ideas in a somewhat informal manner during the workshop was very much appreciated. I appreciate the help of several individuals from the federal government, private firms, and universities who were consulted by staff of the Committee on National Statistics about workshop topics and potential workshop participants: Harry Balzer of the NPD Group; Mary Brandt of the Food and Drug Administration; Gary Crisafulli of ACNielsen; Helen Jensen of Iowa State University; Clifford Johnson of the National Center for Health Statistics, who also provided critical information on current details and future plans for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; Alanna Moshfegh of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Catherine Woteki of the University of Iowa. The summary of the workshop is Appendix A.

I also thank our sponsor, the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ERS staff Elizabeth Kuhn, Nicole

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Ballenger (who is now with the University of Wyoming), James Blaylock, Mark Denbaly, and Biing-Hwan Lin aided the development of the workshop and provided information to the panel.

The panel is grateful for the excellent work of the staff of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) and the National Research Council for developing and organizing the workshop and this report. Michele Ver Ploeg, study director for the panel until October 2004, was chiefly responsible for organizing the workshop and drafting the panel’s report. Earl Pollack, study director for the panel since October 2004, completed the report and shepherded it through the review process with the assistance of Constance Citro, CNSTAT director. Throughout, the panel benefited immensely from Connie’s advice and collaboration. We also thank Jamie Casey, research associate, for drafting the workshop summary and for providing research support, and Tanya Lee, program assistant, for handling all administrative matters for the workshop. Jerusha Nelson Peterman, science and technology policy intern with CNSTAT, gathered background information on many of the datasets discussed in the report and contacted staff at the agencies that produce these data to clarify details. The panel is also grateful to Eugenia Grohman of the reports office of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education for her professional editing of the report.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford Medical School, Stanford University; Gladys Block, Public Health Nutrition Program, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; Daniel S. Gaylin, Department of Health Survey, Program, and Policy Research, National Opinion Research Center, Washington, DC; Chris Logan, Education and Family Support, Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA; Valerie Tarasuk, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto; Parke E. Wilde, Friedman School of Nutrition

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11428.
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Science and Policy, Tufts University; and James P. Ziliak, Center for Poverty Research and Department of Economics, University of Kentucky.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Moffitt, Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.

John Karl Scholz, Chair

Panel on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making

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Several changes in the United States over the past two decades have implications for diet, nutrition, and food safety, including patterns of food consumption that have produced an increase in overweight and obese Americans and threats to food safety from pathogens and bioterrorism. The changes raise a number of critical policy and research questions: How do differences in food prices and availability or in households' time resources for shopping and food preparation affect what people consume and where they eat? How do factors outside of the household, such as the availability of stores and restaurants, food preparation technology, and food marketing and labeling policies, affect what people are consuming? What effects have food assistance programs had on the nutritional quality of diets and the health of those served by the programs? Where do people buy and consume food and how does food preparation affect food safety?

To address these and related questions, the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asked the Committee on National Statistics to convene a panel of experts to provide advice for improving the data infrastructure on food consumption and nutrition. The panel was charged to review data needs to support research and decision making for food and nutrition policies and programs in USDA and to assess the adequacy of the current data infrastructure and recommend enhancements to improve it. The primary basis for the panel's deliberations, given limited resources, was a workshop on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making, which the panel convened on May 27-28, 2004.

This report is based on the discussions at the workshop and the deliberations of the panel. The report outlines key data that are needed to better address questions related to food consumption, diet, and health; discusses the available data and some limitations of those data; and offers recommendations for improvements in those data. The panel was charged to consider USDA data needs for policy making and the focus of the report is on those needs.

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