"One of the many uses of dietary intake data is to keep pace with the serving sizes people consume and what serving sizes work in terms of those used on food labels," says Alanna Moshfegh, FSRG research leader.
"But much has changed since then." FDA is now working with Moshfegh and colleagues at FSRG to redefine serving sizes using key data indicators from the ARS national "What We Eat in America" survey.
FSRG provides periodic Dietary Data Briefs, which focus on a single topic and highlight key results that are of interest to both consumers and professional users.
FSRG has examined 2007-2008 survey data from 5,334 adults aged 20 years and older for a brief that focuses on snacking, which is associated with increased calorie intake and decreased nutrient intake.
There is a positive side to snacking, however, according to FSRG nutritionist Rhonda Sebastian, who headed up the snacking patterns Dietary Data Brief.
AMPM is now the cornerstone of the FSRG's Dietary Intake Data System--an overarching infrastructure of computer programs and databases that serves as the backbone for the federal government's animal national survey known as "What We Eat in America."
Seven years ago, FSRG began planning the transition from paper and pencil to computer-assisted interviewing instruments.
In 1999, FSRG pilot-tested its new automated system by surveying 800 people, randomly chosen, nationwide.
Late last year, FSRG completed the data-collection phase of a large-scale human research study designed to measure the effectiveness of AMPM.
The FSRG started planning the AMPM validation study at the same time it started producing the automated instrument.
FSRG will continue analyzing the data over the next year.
"FSRG not only produced the AMPM, but we are also responsible for its implementation as the cornerstone for dietary intake collection within NHANES," says Moshfegh.