Overview & Background of The Healthy Eating Index
The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) is a measure of diet quality, independent of quantity, that can be used to assess compliance with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and monitor changes in dietary patterns. The HEI also is a valuable tool for epidemiologic and economic research and can be used to evaluate nutrition interventions and consumer nutrition education programs. The Healthy Eating Index–2015 (HEI–2015) is the latest iteration of the HEI.
The HEI is a scoring metric that can be used to determine overall diet quality as well as the quality of a range of dietary components.
Learn More About the Healthy Eating Index
- Developing the HEI provides more information about the development of the HEI and how it has evolved.
- Evaluation and Validation of the HEI provides information about how each version of the HEI has been evaluated for validity.
- Comparing the HEI–2005, HEI–2010 & HEI-2015 provides an overview of the key differences between the two versions, as well as a comparison table.
- Research Uses provides an overview of the types of research that can be done using the HEI.
- Tools for Researchers gives step-by-step instructions on calculating scores and provides sample SAS code for various types of analyses.
- Selected Healthy Eating Index Publications provides a list of papers on the HEI–2005, HEI–2010 and HEI-2015 and examples of how they have been used in research to assess diet quality at various levels, including food supply, community, and individual levels.
- Visit the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) site to learn more about how the HEI has evolved over time.