An Approach to Monitor Food and Nutrition from “Factory to Fork”

Published:November 01, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.09.002

      Abstract

      Background

       Accurate, adequate, and timely food and nutrition information is necessary in order to monitor changes in the US food supply and assess their impact on individual dietary intake.

      Objective

       Our aim was to develop an approach that links time-specific purchase and consumption data to provide updated, market representative nutrient information.

      Methods

       We utilized household purchase data (Nielsen Homescan, 2007-2008), self-reported dietary intake data (What We Eat in America [WWEIA], 2007-2008), and two sources of nutrition composition data. This Factory to Fork Crosswalk approach connected each of the items reported to have been obtained from stores from the 2007-2008 cycle of the WWEIA dietary intake survey to corresponding food and beverage products that were purchased by US households during the equivalent time period. Using nutrition composition information and purchase data, an alternate Crosswalk-based nutrient profile for each WWEIA intake code was created weighted by purchase volume of all corresponding items. Mean intakes of daily calories, total sugars, sodium, and saturated fat were estimated.

      Results

       Differences were observed in the mean daily calories, sodium, and total sugars reported consumed from beverages, yogurts, and cheeses, depending on whether the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies 4.1 or the alternate nutrient profiles were used.

      Conclusions

       The Crosswalk approach augments national nutrition surveys with commercial food and beverage purchases and nutrient databases to capture changes in the US food supply from factory to fork. The Crosswalk provides a comprehensive and representative measurement of the types, amounts, prices, locations and nutrient composition of consumer packaged goods foods and beverages consumed in the United States. This system has potential to be a major step forward in understanding the consumer packaged goods sector of the US food system and the impacts of the changing food environment on human health.

      Keywords

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      Biography

      M. M. Slining is an adjunct assistant professor, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and assistant professor, Department of Health Sciences, Furman University, Greenville, SC.

      Biography

      E. F. Yoon is project manager, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

      Biography

      J. Davis is a research assistant, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

      Biography

      B. Hollingsworth is a research assistant, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

      Biography

      D. Miles is a senior programmer analyst, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

      Biography

      S. W. Ng is an assistant professor, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.