Dietary databases constitute the basic infrastructure for all types of dietary studies. With these databases, researchers can translate foods and beverages reported in surveys and other types of studies into quantities of foods and nutrients that are relevant to dietary guidance. This allows researchers to assess the extent to which people are meeting dietary recommendations, such as those found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
One major goal of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is to increase and improve national, state, and local surveillance of childhood obesity. With this objective in mind, NCCOR members came together in 2011 to strengthen the process for updating the Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED) to enhance food and nutrition surveillance. NCCOR members provided financial support that allowed USDA to more quickly update the FPED, create a self-sustaining process for updates, and enhance the database with the addition of new food components of interest.
In September 2013, with the help of NCCOR, USDA released FPED updates for the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 NHANES survey cycles. These updates will greatly enhance research goals related to intervention, evaluation, and other forms of nutrition research at the individual and community level.