National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a survey research program conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States, and to track changes over time. The survey combines interviews and physical examinations. The NHANES interview includes demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related questions. The examination component consists of medical, dental, and physiological measurements, as well as laboratory tests administered by medical personnel.

The first NHANES was conducted in 1971, with the surveys becoming an annual event in 1999 and the first report on the topic published in 2001.[1]

Findings from the survey are used to determine the prevalence of major diseases and risk factors for diseases. Information is used to assess nutritional status and its association with health promotion and disease prevention. NHANES findings are also the basis for national standards for such measurements as height, weight, and blood pressure. Data from this survey are used in epidemiological studies and health sciences research, which help develop sound public health policy, direct and design health programs and services, and expand health knowledge.


  1. ^ Ozonoff, David (2014). "Biomonitoring". In Rogers, Kara. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 

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