Resources Related to the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)

The Healthy Eating Index (HEI)External Web Site Policy is a measure of diet quality that can be used to assess compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for AmericansExternal Web Site Policy. The HEI–2010 is the latest iteration; its predecessor is the HEI–2005.

It is important to consider that an HEI score for an individual based on one or several days of intake data does not represent usual intake and that meeting dietary recommendations is meant to be achieved over time.

Two SAS programs are provided to calculate the HEI–2010 using ASA24 dietary intake data. These programs can be used to calculate mean HEI total and component scores for individuals. The first program calculates the HEI for each day of intake data regardless of how many ASA24 intake days are available from each person. The second program correctly calculates ratios used in the HEI algorithm when a respondent has more than one day of ASA24 intake data. For example, in the second program:

The cup equivalents of total fruit summed over x days is divided by the total energy summed over the x days:

∑ total fruit over x days
∑ total energy over x days

rather than the daily average:

total fruit/total energy per day
x days

The ratio is compared with the HEI standard on a cup equivalent per 1000 kcal basis as are many HEI components.

SAS code for calculating HEI–2010 scores for each ASA24 intake day for each individual [ZIP - 15 KB]. HEI values are calculated for each intake day regardless of how many recalls are available per person.

SAS code for calculating HEI–2010 scores per person when multiple days of ASA24 data are available for each individual ]ZIP - 16 KB]. This provides one value per individual across all days of ASA24 recalls collected even if some participants have varying number of intake days collected, including only one.

The HEI Tools for Researchers pageExternal Web Site Policy provides other SAS programs to calculate mean and component HEI scores for a subpopulation or group using ASA24 output. Information is also provided on estimating distributions of HEI scores and on estimating relationships between HEI scores and another variable, such as health.

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