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Forty Years Of National Nutrition Survey Data Are “Implausible” – Study

October 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have found that the measurement protocols used in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) have significant limitations, rendering the nutrition data collected via the survey flawed and “implausible”. The NHANES survey, conducted by the CDC and USDA, combines interviews of self-reported food and beverage consumption over 24 hours and physical examinations to assess the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population. The researchers said data collected in the survey from 1971 through 2009 are not “physiologically credible”, because the "calories in" and the "calories out" reported by the 63,000 adult men and women don't add up. In fact, it would be impossible to survive on most of the reported energy intakes. ”It is time to stop spending tens of millions of health research dollars collecting invalid data and find more accurate measures," the researchers concluded.
Edward Archer et al., "Validity of U.S. Nutritional Surveillance: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Caloric Energy Intake Data, 1971–2010", PLoS ONE, October 09, 2013, © Archer et al.
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