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conduct nutrition surveillance activities in develping countries around the world. So I have faculty with expertise in helping individual countries set up nutrition surveillance systems. I think we have been more successful in getting interest in nutrition surveillance outside of the United States than we have within the United States.
But the point that we have always tried to make in working with the nutrition surveillance system is to point out that it is not enough just to gather the data, you have to link the system of monitoring and surveillance to some kind of way of making policy that is going to deal with the issue. In other words, gathering data for data-gathering sake is not a very useful exercise. And I think that one of the things that the Congress has asked for is assistance in helping make nutrition decisions, policy decisions. If you make that on the basis of knowledge—the question you asked this morning, Mr. MacKay, about what is the nutrition status of the people of the United States, is a very relevant question in terms of trying to make the decisions that you have to deal with in this regard.
So I think that any nutrition surveillance system that we set up has got to be linked with those concerns that you have in trying to make those kinds of decisions.
Mr. BROWN. Dr. Nesheim, haven't we actually learned a great deal about the role of nutrition and health, as well as some other things, based upon what we have learned from other countries, such as the impacts of certain dietary habits on the health of the Japanese or the Chinese?
Dr. NESHEIM. Absolutely. You have to do nutrition research on an international scale because the laboratory to do that is really found throughout the world, and you can get a lot of information from outside this country.
Mr. BROWN. Again, gentlemen, you have been very helpful to us.
Without objection, I will include in the record the policy statement of the NNC and the annual report which you submitted, Dr. Hurt.
Mr. BROWN. We may want to propose some additional questions to you in writing, if you don't object to answering them.
I think this is an appropriate place to close the hearing, since we have another rollcall on the floor.
Thank you very much.
The Role of the Federal Government in
Human Nutrition Research
Hearing by the Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology and the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Research
and Foreign Agriculture
July 14, 1983
Follow-Up Questions for Department of Health and Human Services
What was the role of DHHS in obtaining Advisory Council status for the Evaluation Committee of the Nutrition Status Monitoring System? Why did the clearance take one year? Since the Evaluation Committee has not met, when can Congress expect to receive the report on the nutritional status of the population originally scheduled for FY '84?
Answer: In planning for the Joint Nutrition Monitoring
The charter for the committee was developed by staff
What is the probability of beginning the first coordinated National Nutrition Monitoring System surveys in 1987 as called for in the Implementation Plan? When will the interlocking survey design be completed? What impact will the FY '83 and FY '84 budgets have on the Department's ability to conduct the first coordinated survey in 1987?
Answer: At this point, planning for the third National Health
DHHS belatedly joined USDA in a contract to address user needs of national food consumption data. Do you plan to hold a workshop on the user needs of nutritional status data? Do the user needs of both types of data require review prior to determining the most effective design for the 1987 coordinated surveys?
Answer: In planning for NHANES III, the needs of users of the
letters to Federal agencies soliciting topics to be
nutritional status data users workshop. Such a workshop
advertisements in professional journals. This approach would seek to obtain a wide range of opinions from health planners, health and nutrition researchers, medical care providers, and health and nutrition educators.
What is the view of the timeliness of data and analysis for
Answer: Improvements in timeliness are notable and the data are
The National Center for Health Statistics has already taken
a microdata tape release program has resulted in distribution
technical assistance is provided to data users of the microdata tapes and data-users meetings are being conducted regularly to encourage appropriate analyses of the NHANES data, and to encourage grant applications to funding agencies with programmatic interests;
collaborative analysis efforts with staffs of the Food and
NIIANES II and Hispanic HANES data have been, or are being, processed soon after data collection and will be released on a much more rapid schedule than their NHANES I counterparts.
The Subcommittees received a statement for the record from the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors which reads, "It is our view the HANES and the NFCS could, and should, become required Federal research surveys, to be scheduled and budgeted at reasonable intervals, and mandated to develop improved survey methods that would not only increase the utility of the data to State and local users but also advance the state-of-the-art for economic snall surveys in states and other smaller areas." Would you comment on the feasibility of implementing this recomnendation?
Answer: HANES is not specifically mandated in legislation at
Staff of NCHS, FDA, CDC, NIH and other Public Health Service