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Highlights

The United States does not have a unified or coordinated nutrition intelligence system, but both the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) have programs which provide some of this information. With limitations, the existing programs provide: (1) periodic national population surveys to assess and monitor the dietary and nutritional status of the entire population and selected groups at nutritional risk; (2) surveillance at the community level for indicators of nutritional deficiency in selected high-risk groups; and (3) evaluations of the dietary and nutritional impacts of some food asssitance programs. While these activities generate useful information, there are weaknesses which limit their effectiveness as an overall system of nutrition intelligence.

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