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Change in methodology for collection of drinking water intake in What We Eat in America/National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: implications for analysis

  • Rhonda S Sebastian (a1), Cecilia Wilkinson Enns (a1), Joseph D Goldman (a1) and Alanna J Moshfegh (a1)

Abstract

Objective

To provide updated estimates of drinking water intake (total, tap, plain bottled) for groups aged ≥1 year in the USA and to determine whether intakes collected in 2005–2006 using the Automated Multiple-Pass Method for the 24 h recall differ from intakes collected in 2003–2004 via post-recall food-frequency type questions.

Design

Cross-sectional, observational study.

Setting

What We Eat in America (WWEIA), the dietary intake component of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Subjects

Individuals aged ≥1 year in 2003–2004 (n 8249) and 2005–2006 (n 8437) with one complete 24 h recall.

Results

The estimate for the percentage of individuals who reported total drinking water in 2005–2006 was significantly (P < 0·0000) smaller (76·9 %) than that for 2003–2004 (87·1 %), attributable to a lower percentage reporting tap water (54·1 % in 2005–2006 v. 67·0 % in 2003–2004; P = 0·0001). Estimates of mean tap water intake differed between the survey cycles for men aged ≥71 years.

Conclusions

Survey variables must be examined before combining or comparing data from multiple WWEIA/NHANES release cycles. For at least some age/gender groups, drinking water intake data from NHANES cycles prior to 2005–2006 should not be considered comparable to more recent data.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email Rhonda.Sebastian@ars.usda.gov

References

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