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Nutrition: Statistics

Nutrition Resources from the CDC

Nutrition Resources for Health Professionals

Data and Statistics

Public health surveillance is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome-specific data for use in planning, interpretation, and evaluation of public health practice. Data sets and surveillance systems related to nutrition are provided. A number of the data sources can be used to examine public health issues across time or to compare groups at a specific time point.

The State Indicator Report on Fruits & Vegetables, 2013 Adobe PDF file [PDF- 1.23Mb] provides national and state-level information on how many  fruits and vegetables people are eating, and highlights key areas within communities and schools that can be improved to increase fruit and vegetable access, availability, and affordability.

The National Action Guide, 2013 (PDF-745Kb) Adobe PDF file summarizes the national data on fruit and vegetable consumption and policy and environmental supports. It also provides potential actions that government and business leaders, coalitions, community-based organizations, and professionals can take to support Americans' eating more fruits and vegetables, along with resources for taking action.

State Action GuidesExternal Web Site Icon, 2013

Previous State Indicator Reports on Fruits and Vegetables

Breastfeeding Data and Statisics
CDC, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
Includes U.S. National Immunization Survey, Breastfeeding Report Card, Infant Feeding Practices Survey II, Maternity Care Practices Survey and HealthStyles Survey.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
The BRFSS site includes SMART data, Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan area data for adult fruit and vegetable consumption. Adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption data is available from Youth Online, which lets you analyze national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data from 1991-2011.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
CDC, National Center for Health Statistics
NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations.
PedNSS: Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System and PNSS: Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System
This website is archived and available through May, 2016.

CDC discontinued the Pediatric and Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance Systems (PedNSS and PNSS) at the end of 2012. These program-based surveillance systems monitored the nutritional status of low-income infants, children, and women in federally funded maternal and child health programs. The most recent annual national PedNSS and PNSS data tables available on this website are for calendar year 2011.

School Health Policies and Programs Study
CDC, Healthy Youth
The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This includes nutrition services, education, and policies.

School Health Profiles
CDC, Healthy Youth
The School Health Profiles (Profiles) is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, territories, and tribal governments. This includes school health education requirements, nutrition and dietary behavior topics and school health policies and practices related to nutrition and other topics.

US Obesity Data and Statistics
CDC, Nutrition and Physical Activity
This site provides maps, PowerPoint slides and other data showing the changing prevalence in obesity in the United States. The prevalence data were collected through CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
CDC, Adolescent and School Health
YRBSS monitors priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of health, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States. Questions related to eating patterns such as fruit, vegetable and soda intake are included. The YRBSS includes national, state, and local school-based surveys of representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students.

Related Surveillance Systems

Healthy Eating IndexExternal Web Site Icon
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) is a measure of diet quality that assesses conformance to federal dietary guidance. USDA’s primary use of the HEI is to monitor the diet quality of the U.S. population and the low-income subpopulation. For this purpose the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) uses the data collected via 24-hour recalls of dietary intake in national surveys. The original HEI was created by CNPP in 1995. It was revised by a federal working group, led by CNPP with members from the National Cancer InstituteExternal Web Site Icon and the USDA Food and Nutrition ServiceExternal Web Site Icon, to reflect the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansExternal Web Site Icon.

Healthy People 2020
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Healthy People 2020 is the prevention agenda for the nation. From this link, the database can be searched for a specific objective of a particular focus area (e.g. Nutrition and Overweight). Data can be searched for specific states and across years.

Food Access Research Atlas

Food Environment Atlas

Food Environment Atlas

Food environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—interact to influence food choices and diet quality. Research is beginning to document the complexity of these interactions, but more is needed to identify causal relationships and effective policy interventions.

The objectives of the Atlas are:

  • To assemble statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality

  • To provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so

 What information is included in the Atlas?

The Atlas assembles statistics on three broad categories of food environment factors:

  • Food Choices—Indicators of the community's access to and acquisition of healthy, affordable food, such as: access and proximity to a grocery store; number of foodstores and restaurants; expenditures on fast foods; food and nutrition assistance program participation; quantities of foods eaten; food prices; food taxes; and availability of local foods

  • Health and Well-Being—Indicators of the community’s success in maintaining healthy diets, such as: food insecurity; diabetes and obesity rates; and physical activity levels

  • Community Characteristics—Indicators of community characteristics that might influence the food environment, such as: demographic composition; income and poverty; population loss; metro-nonmetro status; natural amenities; and recreation and fitness centers

The Atlas currently includes 168 indicators of the food environment. The year and geographic level of the indicators vary to better accommodate data from a variety of sources. Some data are from the last Census of Population in 2000 while others are as recent as 2009. Some are at the county level while others are at the State or regional level. The most recent county-level data are used whenever possible.

Databank: Health and Nutrition


FAOSTAT: from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

Note: Access is now free, but you should register to take full advantage of this database.

FAOSTAT provides time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries.

Specific areas include food supply and food security, food products (with balance sheets), agricultural trade, forestry and fisheries data, land use and irrigation, use of fertilizer and pesticides and other census data