Standardization of the Food Composition Database
Abstract: Between-country comparisons of estimated dietary intake are particularly prone to error when different food composition tables are used. The objective of this study was to describe our procedures and rationale for the selection and adaptation of available food composition to a single database to enable cross-country nutritional intake comparisons. Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health (ELANS) is a multicenter cross-sectional study of representative samples from eight Latin American countries. A standard study protocol was designed to investigate dietary intake of 9000 participants enrolled. Two 24-h recalls using the Multiple Pass Method were applied among the individuals of all countries. Data from 24-h dietary recalls were entered into the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDS-R) program after a harmonization process between countries to include local foods and appropriately adapt the NDS-R database. A food matching standardized procedure involving nutritional equivalency of local food reported by the study participants with foods available in the NDS-R database was strictly conducted by each country. Standardization of food and nutrient assessments has the potential to minimize systematic and random errors in nutrient intake estimations in the ELANS project. This study is expected to result in a unique dataset for Latin America, enabling cross-country comparisons of energy, macro- and micro-nutrient intake within this region.