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Author Notes:

Email Address:Irina Kovalskys : ikovalskys@gmail.com

All authors were involved in the conception and design of the study. IZZ, IK and MF researched the literature and drafted the manuscript.

All authors critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final version.

We would like to thank the ELANS External Advisory Board and following individuals who made substantial contributions to ELANS: Beate Lloyd, Ilton Azevedo, Regina Fisberg and Luis Moreno.

The ELANS and researchers (PIs and advisory board) are supported by a scientific grant from the Coca Cola Company and by different grants and support from the Instituto Pensi/Hospital Infantil Sabara, International Life Science Institute of Argentina, Universidad de Costa Rica, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Universidad Central de Venezuela (CENDES-UCV)/Fundación Bengoa, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and Instituto de Investigación Nutricional de Peru.

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, the decision to publish, or the preparation of this manuscript.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



  • nutrition
  • Latin America
  • food composition database
  • standardization

Standardization of the Food Composition Database Used in the Latin American Nutrition and Health Study (ELANS)

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Journal Title:



Volume 7, Number 9


, Pages 7914-7924

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Between-country comparisons of estimated dietary intake are particularly prone to error when different food composition tables are used. The objective of this study was to describe our procedures and rationale for the selection and adaptation of available food composition to a single database to enable cross-country nutritional intake comparisons. Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health (ELANS) is a multicenter cross-sectional study of representative samples from eight Latin American countries. A standard study protocol was designed to investigate dietary intake of 9000 participants enrolled. Two 24-h recalls using the Multiple Pass Method were applied among the individuals of all countries. Data from 24-h dietary recalls were entered into the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDS-R) program after a harmonization process between countries to include local foods and appropriately adapt the NDS-R database. A food matching standardized procedure involving nutritional equivalency of local food reported by the study participants with foods available in the NDS-R database was strictly conducted by each country. Standardization of food and nutrient assessments has the potential to minimize systematic and random errors in nutrient intake estimations in the ELANS project. This study is expected to result in a unique dataset for Latin America, enabling cross-country comparisons of energy, macro- and micro-nutrient intake within this region.

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© 2015 by the authors

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits distribution, public display, and publicly performance, making multiple copies, distribution of derivative works, provided the original work is properly cited. This license requires copyright and license notices be kept intact, credit be given to copyright holder and/or author.

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