Table of Contents

Component Description

Food Code Format File

This dataset is a technical support file for the Individual Foods File (DRXIFF) of the dietary interview component. It provides text descriptions for the food codes used in the Individual Foods File. The source of the text descriptions used in this file is the USDA 1994-98 Survey Nutrient Database. Please refer to the documentation for the Individual Foods File for details information on the dietary interview component and related dietary data files.

The Food Code Format File was created for linking the text descriptions with the food codes used in the Individual Foods File. There are three variables included in the file:

1) FMTNAME: a text field encoding the name of the key variable (i.e., DRDIFDCD) used to link with the Individual Foods File;

2) START: the numeric value of the USDA food codes;

3) VALUE: the text description for the correspondent food code.

The following is an example SAS code to associate the text descriptions with the food codes using format option:

Assuming that the individual foods file (DRXIFF) and the Format file (DRXFMT) have been copied to a SAS library NHANES:

Proc Format CntlIn=NHANES.DRXFMT; Proc DataSets Lib=NHANES;

  Modify DRXIFF;


To simply obtain a listing of formatted text labels for each food code, data users can apply the following SAS code:

Options LS=240;

Proc Print Data= NHANES.DRXFMT;


Note that the text label is up to 60 characters long.

For foods with modified recipes including those that are not in the USDA database (DRDMRUF=1, in the individual foods file), the USDA food codes and corresponding text descriptions were assigned for reporting purpose only. While the description expresses the basic characteristics of the food, it does not reflect the actual recipe used in the food. However, the nutrient values assigned to modified recipe foods in the dietary data files do reflect the recipe modification. Please refer to the documentation for Individual Foods File for details.