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  • Changes in Nutritional Quality of Food Product Offerings and Purchases: A Case Study in the Mid-1990's

    TB-1880, December 22, 1999

    This report provides a new economic approach and methodology for analyzing nutritional quality change in manufacturers' food product offerings and food products purchased using a case study of five food product categories in the mid-1990's. Two approaches were used to analyze nutritional quality change in product offerings. The first approach uses a composite nutritional index to measure changes. A second approach, nutrient-by-nutrient analysis, was also used to measure quality change. Overall, the nutrition index analysis showed no significant change in the average nutritional quality of products offered for sale in the five categories.

  • Maternal Nutrition Knowledge and Children's Diet Quality and Nutrient Intakes

    FANRR-1, October 01, 1999

    ERS research findings suggest that the more a mother knows about health and nutrition the better is the overall quality of her children's diet, for preschoolers more so than older children. We also found that a mother's years of schooling, smoking status, race, and ethnicity influence her children's diet. Our results imply that health and nutrition education may be more effective if targeted toward mothers with young children but directly toward school-age children. We assessed overall diet quality using the Healthy Eating Index, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's instrument for measuring overall diet quality incorporating 10 recommended nutritional guidelines.

  • Food Cost Review, 1950-97

    AER-780, June 01, 1999


  • Food Consumption, Prices, and Expenditures, 1970-97

    SB-965, April 02, 1999

    This annual bestseller presents historical data on food consumption, prices, and expenditures by commodity and commodity group, supply and use, prices, total expenditures, and U.S. income and population. Includes 29 charts dealing with food consumption trends, from changes in per capita consumption, to share of income spent for food.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 1999, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-004, February 24, 1999

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 1999. The five priority research areas were (1) The Food Stamp Program as a Safety Net, (2) Better Serving the Working Poor, (3) WIC Program Research, (4) Child Nutrition Issues, and (5) Outcome-Based Performance Measures. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 1999 was between $2 million and $4 million. The deadline for proposal submission was June 3, 1999.

  • A Dietary Assessment of the U.S. Food Supply: Comparing Per Capita Food Consumption with Food Guide Pyramid Serving Recommendations

    AER-772, December 01, 1998

    Most American diets do not meet Federal Food Guide Pyramid dietary recommendations. On average, people consume too many servings of added fats and sugars and too few servings of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, lean meats, and foods made from whole grains--compared with a reference set of Food Guide Pyramid serving recommendations appropriate to the age and gender composition of the U.S. population. In addition, while the healthfulness of diets has improved over time, the pace of improvement has been uneven. For example, while Americans consumed record amounts of fruits and vegetables in 1996, consumption of caloric sweeteners also reached a 27-year high. This report is the first dietary assessment to use ERS's time-series food supply data to compare average diets with Federal dietary recommendations depicted in the Food Guide Pyramid. Food Guide Pyramid servings were estimated for more than 250 agricultural commodities for 1970-96. New techniques were developed to adjust the data for food spoilage and other losses accumulated throughout the marketing system and the home.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 1998 Activities

    AP-003, November 20, 1998

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3) program dynamics and administration. The core food and nutrition assistance programs include the Food Stamp Program, the child nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This report summarizes FANRP's activities and accomplishments in fiscal 1998.

  • Factors Affecting Nutrient Intake of the Elderly

    AER-769, October 21, 1998

    The rapid expansion of the population age 60 and older has a number of economic implications. The people in this group, about 18 percent of the population, account for about 30 percent of all health care expenditures. They use hospitals at nearly three times the rate of younger persons, average seven to eight medical visits per year, and occupy the majority of nursing residence beds. Providing information on the relationship of socio-economic and other factors to nutrient intake is basic to improving the health and well-being of the elderly. This exploratory investigation provides estimates of the effects of selected characteristics of the household and its constituents on individual nutrient consumption of elderly heads of households. Formal education was positively related to nutrient consumption. The elderly who live in households with income below 130 percent of the poverty level tended to have lower nutrient intakes than those elderly in households with higher incomes. Blacks, urbanites, and Southerners generally consumed less of the selected nutrients. Neither participation in the Food Stamp Program nor receipt of surplus foods was a significant factor in nutrient intake of elderly individuals. Possible nutrition interventions focus on targeted audiences and programs.

  • USDA's Healthy Eating Index and Nutrition Information

    TB-1866, May 12, 1998

    A comprehensive model is developed to measure the extent that nutrition knowledge and diet-health awareness, among other factors, influence an individual's Healthy Eating Index (HEI), USDA's measure of overall diet quality. This is the first study that rigorously attempts to examine variation in the index across population groups by controlling for personal and household characteristics and nutrition information levels, as well as test for endogeneity of nutrition information. Results indicate that one's level of nutrition information has an important influence on one's HEI and that nutrition information and the HEI are simultaneously determined. Other factors explaining variations in HEI's across individuals are income and education levels, race, ethnicity, and age. Evidence supports the hypothesis that higher education promotes more healthful food choices through better acquisition and use of health information.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 1998, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-002, April 06, 1998

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 1998. The three priority research areas were (1) Dietary and Nutrition Outcomes, (2) Food Program Targeting and Delivery, (3) Program Forecasting and Budget Analysis. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 1998 was between $2 million and $4 million. The deadline for proposal submission was June 5, 1998.

  • The Diets of America's Children: Influences of Dining Out, Household Characteristics, and Nutrition Knowledge

    AER-746, December 31, 1996

    Recent USDA surveys point out several shortcomings in children's diets. The share of calories from total and saturated fat averaged 4 and 3 percentage points above the recommendations. The sodium intake averaged 23 percent above the 2,400 milligrams recommended by some authorities. These dietary problems start early in childhood and continue into adulthood. Additionally, only a small fraction of female adolescents met the recommended intakes for calcium, fiber, and iron. Compared with home foods, away-from-home foods were higher in total and saturated fat and lower in cholesterol, fiber, calcium, iron, and sodium. With increasing popularity in dining out, efforts to improve children's diets may need strengthening.

  • Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses

    AER-741, August 01, 1996

    Microbial pathogens in food cause an estimated 6.5-33 million cases of human illness and up to 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. Over 40 different foodborne microbial pathogens, including fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, are believed to cause human illnesses. For six bacterial pathogens, the costs of human illness are estimated to be $9.3-$12.9 billion annually. Of these costs, $2.9-$6.7 billion are attributed to foodborne bacteria. These estimates were developed to provide analytical support for USDA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems rule for meat and poultry. (Note that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is not included in this report.) To estimate medical costs and productivity losses, ERS uses four severity categories for acute illnesses: those who did not visit a physician, visited a physician, were hospitalized, or died prematurely. The lifetime consequences of chronic disease are included in the cost estimates for E. coli O157:H7 and fetal listeriosis.