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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 Using food composition data to communicate nutrition to the consumer
View the document (introductory text)
View the document Introduction
View the document NUTREDFO system development
View the document Nutrient and food constituent data sources
View the document Food composition data characteristics and limitations
View the document Interrelationships of nutrition education and food composition data
View the document Using NUTREDFO for nutrition guidance research
View the document Comments on selected nutrients in NUTREDFO
View the document Recommendations
View the document Acknowledgements
View the document References

Recommendations

Recommendations

As a result of our experiences in developing data bases and putting them to innovative uses, a number of recommendations can be made regarding food composition data and food data systems. We will want more and better data. However, when setting priorities it is important to give first consideration to analysing foods that are representative of current food consumption practices. In addition, it is essential to provide documentation about the source of analytical, imputed, and averaged values to use in resolving discrepancies when they occur. With respect to systems development, in whatever way data are brought together they need to be in a manageable form that is amenable to various types of software. Even a relatively small data base of about 500 foods and 30 nutrients presents difficulties as regards the technical development of software for data use. Something as seemingly straightforward as assigning fields for analysing data can be difficult when systems developers are unaware, for example, of extremes of data values such as vitamin A in liver. While this may seem too simplistic to mention, a great amount and variety of software will be developed for using data in many different ways. Systems developers need to be thinking of fairly sophisticated uses and potential uses for data as they begin to put together a data base.