Multivariate Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) Method

For more information, read an Overview of the Methods & Calculations.

  1. Separating. Each HEI dietary constituent must be treated separately. Unlike all the other methods, dietary constituents are not summed but must be separated for statistical modeling.

    For the HEI-2015, the components and associated dietary constituents are noted below:

  2. HEI-2015 Components and Associated Dietary Constituents for MCMC Method
    HEI Component MCMC Variables Typea Units Dietary Constituents
    From FPED (or other food-based database)
    Total Fruits Whole Fruit Episodic cup eq. Citrus, Melons, Berries + Other Intact Fruits
    Fruit Juice Episodic cup eq. Fruit Juice
    Whole Fruits Whole Fruit Episodic cup eq. Citrus, Melons, Berries + Other Intact Fruits
    Total Vegetables Non-Dark Green Vegetables Daily cup eq. Total Vegetables – Dark Green Vegetablesb
    Dark Green Vegetables Episodic cup eq. Dark Green Vegetables
    Legumes (Beans and Peas) Episodic cup eq. Legumes (Beans and Peas)
    Greens and Beans Dark Green Vegetables Episodic cup eq. Dark Green Vegetables
    Legumes (Beans and Peas) Episodic cup eq. Legumes (Beans and Peas)
    Whole Grains Whole Grains Episodic oz. eq. Whole Grains
    Refined Grains Refined Grains Daily oz. eq. Refined Grains
    Dairy Dairy Daily cup eq. Total Dairy
    Total Protein Foods Meat, Poultry and Eggsb Daily oz. eq. Total Meat, Poultry (including organ meats and cured meats) + Eggs
    Seafood, Soy, and Nuts and Seeds Episodic oz. eq. Seafood (high in n-3) + Seafood (low in n-3) + Soy + Nuts and Seeds
    Legumes (Beans and Peas) Episodic oz. eq. Legumes (Beans and Peas)
    Seafood and Plant Proteins Seafood, Soy, and Nuts and Seeds Episodic oz. eq. Seafood (high in n-3) + Seafood (low in n-3) + Soy + Nuts and Seeds
    Legumes (Beans and Peas) Episodic oz. eq. Legumes (Beans and Peas)
    Added Sugars Added Sugars Daily tsp. eq.* Added Sugars
    From FNDDS (or other nutrient database)
    Fatty Acids Fatty Acids Daily g Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids + Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
    Saturated Fats Saturated Fats Daily g* Total Saturated Fatty Acids
    Sodium Sodium Daily mg Sodium
    ----- Energy Daily kcal Total Energy

    cup eq.=cup equivalents; oz. eq.=ounce equivalents; tsp. eq.= teaspoon equivalents; tsp. eq*.=added sugars are calculated in teaspoon equivalents but converted to energy in the scoring process; g=grams; g*= fatty acids are calculated in grams but converted to energy in the scoring process; mg=milligrams

    a General guidance on daily vs. episodic. Should be examined for each individual dataset.

    b Should be rounded to 2 decimal places and set to 0.00 if value is negative.


  3. Modeling. Using a model that: a) transforms data to approximate normality, b) separates within-person from between-person variability, c) models the probability of consumption separately from the consumption day amount for episodically consumed foods, d) allows for correlation among the probability of consumption, the consumption-day amount, and energy among all dietary constituents; usual intakes for each dietary constituent are predicted.
  4. Deriving Sums. After usual intake is predicted the constituents are combined to create the variables corresponding to the HEI components.
  5. Constructing Ratios. The appropriate ratios are constructed. Usually these are the ratios of the dietary constituents to 1000 kcal of energy, with the exception of fatty acids, which use the ratio of the sum of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids. (Also, note two components are expressed on a percent of calories basis. Therefore, grams of saturated fat should be multiplied by 9 to convert g to kcal, and added sugars should be multiplied by 16 to convert teaspoons to kcal, prior to dividing by total energy.) Step 5 and beyond are different depending on purpose; see two options below.

For Describing Dietary Intakes:

  1. Estimating. Generate “pseudo-individuals” from the parameters estimated from the model fit in Step 1.
  2. Scoring. For each of the pseudo-individuals, score the ratios according to the scoring standards for each component. The component scores are summed to calculate the total score.
  3. Calculating Means. Compute means and percentiles for the population of pseudo-individuals.

OR


For Examining Association between Diet and Another Variable:

    These methods are under development.

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