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close this book Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987)
close this folder The uses of food composition data
close this folder Food composition -a key to dietary appraisal and improvement in the United States
View the document (introductory text)
View the document Introduction
View the document Food composition data needs
View the document National nutrition monitoring system
View the document Nutrition education
View the document Discussion
View the document Approaches to meeting data needs
View the document References

Introduction

Introduction

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has traditionally been the primary provider of food composition data in the United States. Food composition data are vital to the major responsibilities of the Department: (a) to ensure that an adequate, wholesome, and nutritious supply of food is available and (b) to provide information to help Americans select good diets [21]. USDA food composition data are also used extensively by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - the agency with responsibility for studies of diet and disease and for the nutrition-labelling programme.

USDA contributes to food and agricultural progress throughout the world. This activity and its role as the provider of US food composition data explain USDA's support of INFOODS and earlier efforts to help make food composition data available in various regions of the world.

A wide range of activities helps to fulfil USDA's mission as it relates to nutrition. Research, information, education, regulatory, and food assistance programmes are examples [6]. Each requires food composition data. This paper describes some of these activities and their food composition data needs, and outlines the means by which USDA's Human Nutrition Information Service (HNIS) attempts to meet these needs (see chap. 11).