Assessing nutritional adequacy of Americans based on individual food intake patterns


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The study assumes that different food patterns are the major attributes that contribute and affect the adequacy of an individual's diet and nutritional status. Analysis of dietary patterns provides a means for generalization of the diversity of diets among individuals. It also provides a basis for assessing the nutritional adequacy of such diets. The study uses individual food intake data obtained from the 1977–1978 USDA Nationwide Household Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) to classify individuals into groups of similar food consumption patterns. Nutritional profiles associated with each identified food pattern were evaluated to determine the nutritional adequacy of such diets. To analyse nutritional adequacy, the study identifies four major dietary patterns based on cluster analysis. The concepts of nutrient density and index of nutritional quality were then used to assess the adequacy of each food pattern and to identify groups of individuals that may be at risk for malnutrition and other health concerns. Furthermore, regression analyses were used to estimate the relationship between individuals' socioeconomic characteristics and selected nutrient density of their diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Consumer Studies & Home Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1991


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