Multifactor Screener in the 2000 National Health Interview Survey Cancer Control Supplement: Definition of Acceptable Dietary Data Values

We used the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 1994-96 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of IndividualsExternal Web Site Policy (CSFII) data on reported intakes over two days of 24-hour recall to make judgments about reasonable frequencies of consumption that were reported on a per day basis. Maximum daily average frequencies (averaged for each individual across his two days of report) in the CSFII ranged from 1.5 times to 12 times per day for the relevant food groups. We accepted frequency values reported in the National Health Interview Survey's Cancer Control SupplementExternal Web Site Policy that were reported on a per day basis up to the maximum average values (rounded to the next whole number).

Food Group Maximum Daily Acceptable Value Food Group Maximum Daily Acceptable Value
Cold cereals 10 Fruit 12
Whole milk 5 Salad dressing 3
2% milk 6 Salad 5
1% milk 6 Fried potatoes 3
Skim milk 5 Other white potatoes 3
Other milk 5 Dried beans 3
Bacon or Sausage 3 Other vegetables 9
Hot dogs 2 Pasta 3
Whole grain bread 5 Nuts 3
100% fruit juice 4 Chips 3


In addition, we applied judgment to determine the acceptability of frequency reports for the weekly and monthly time period (see below). For example, a report of 25 times may be most logically associated with a month or year time period, but not so logically associated with a week time period. We applied this judgment to all foods.

Time Period Acceptable Frequency
Week 14 / week: acceptable
> 14: assign a missing value
Month 60 / month: acceptable
> 60: assign a missing value
Year any reported value is acceptable

Depending on the intent of the analysis, the researcher could exclude a person with a missing value for any food, or only for foods of interest in the analysis. In our analyses of NHIS data, we excluded individuals only for the exposures in which they had missing data.

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