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 (DGAs) 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. Since 2005, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have collaborated to update the HEI based on updates to the DGAs.

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.

Coming in 2022

With the release of the 2020-2025 DGAs, the HEI is in the process of being updated for ≥2 years and a new HEI is being developed for <2 years.

Learn More About the Healthy Eating Index