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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Apr;65(4 Suppl):1264S-1268S.

Characterizing food intake patterns of American adults.

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  • 1National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Food-pattern analysis provides a way to examine diets in a multidimensional context. This study examined the diets of 8181 adults in the 1989-1991 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and evaluated whether they met the federal recommendations for each of five food groups. The sample was partitioned among 32 different food-intake patterns, six of which represented 44% of the population. Nutrient profiles associated with each of the patterns indicated that failure to meet one or more of the food-group recommendations was associated with nutrient inadequacy, macronutrient imbalance, or both. A reexamination of the data to account for low energy reporters did not alter these findings. The pattern of meeting all five of the food-group recommendations was among the least common, accounting for only 1% of adults' intakes.

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