Food Patterns Equivalents Database
Retooling the Food Patterns Equivalents Database
One major goal of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is to increase and improve national, state, and local surveillance of childhood obesity. With this objective in mind, NCCOR is strengthening the process for updating the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED) to enhance food and nutrition surveillance.
Dietary databases constitute the basic infrastructure for all types of dietary studies. They translate the foods reported into quantities of dietary constituents of interest. For the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey dietary intake data, two databases are used: the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) and the FPED. The FNDDS provides information on nutrient/food components (e.g., calories, calcium, sodium) while the FPED provides information on guidance-based food groups (e.g., cups of fruit, milk cup equivalents, total grains). Both are available for free to users.
To date there has been an FPED data release for only the 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 survey periods, both of which were released four years past the end of data collection. The goal of this NCCOR effort is to retool the FPED so that updates can be timelier the process can be more self-sustaining and new food groups of interest can be included.
USDA had initially planned an FPED data release in 2013 for the 2007-2008 survey period and an FPED data release in 2014 for the 2011-2012 survey period. However, with stakeholder support, USDA plans to have an FPED release for the 2005-2006 and the 2009-2010 survey periods as well. This critical effort will facilitate research goals related to intervention, evaluation, and other forms of nutrition research at the individual and community levels.