National Health and Nurition Examination Survey (NHANES)

Maintained/created by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Geographic unit of data: U.S. national

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Users can download reports, data tables and data sets to gain information regarding Americans’ nutrition and health statuses.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is part of the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is an annual survey that reports on Americans’ nutrition and health statuses and uses that information to determine prevalence estimates and understand health trends. NHANES developed growth charts that are used to track the physical development of infants and children, and it has contributed to improvements in food and health care in the United States. Information includes: diet, weight according to sex, age, race, ethnicity and age; disease history; serum cholesterol levels; depression; breastfeeding; intake of calories and nutrients, and much more.

Database Capabilities
The website offers extensive tutorials to help users navigate and download the NHANES datasets. Datasets can be downloaded as SAS transport files, which can be downloaded into SAS, SPSS, and SUDAN. The datasets can also be converted to be read as Excel files. From the website, static data reports and tables are also available for download, and investigators can apply to get access to the non-publicly released data sets.

Data Notes
The survey consists of an interview and a health examination by a trained physician. Participants are considered to be a nationally representative sample. Data is available from the first NHANES in 1971 to the present. The survey is continuous, and data is released as it becomes available, with the most recent data from 2008.