What do Stanford University, NASA, General Mills, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have in common? They are among the hundreds of institutions that use the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR), a dietary analysis software program developed and maintained by the University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center (NCC).
NCC was initiated in 1974 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to support the food coding and nutrient analysis needs of two historically significant national collaborative research programs – the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) and the Lipid Research Clinics (LRC). For these studies a mainframe computer-based food coding and nutrient analysis system was created by NCC in collaboration with NHLBI and outside experts in nutrition, statistics, computer science and education. This system was designed for in-house use, with NCC staff responsible for using it to code foods for nutrient calculation.
By 1977 NCC services were made available to other researchers studying the impact of diet and nutrition on various health conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, age-related eye disease, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
In 1988 NCC released Nutrition Data System (NDS), a DOS-based software program designed to provide a standardized interview and direct data entry for collection of dietary intake. For the first time, coding of foods and amounts was computerized providing immediate calculation of nutrient data. The software was developed for distribution to researchers for use on their computers
Since 1988 NCC has worked to keep NDSR up-to-date with computer hardware and software advances, and dietary intake assessment methodological improvements. In addition, major expansion to the nutrients and foods in the NCC Food and Nutrient Database have been made to keep the database current with the ever expanding food marketplace and the growing number of nutrients and other food components of interest to researchers.
• Allows for the collection and analyses of 24-hour dietary recalls, food records, menus, and recipes.
• Includes a dietary supplement module so that nutrient intake from both food and supplement sources may be captured and quantified.
• Is supported by a food and nutrient database that includes over 18,000 foods including 8,000 brand name products
• Provides highly complete nutrient composition data for 169 nutrients, nutrient ratios and other food components.
Submitted by Lisa Harnack