I am conducting a secondary data analysis using datasets from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2007 through 2010 to evaluate the association between household consumer behaviors and dietary intake of U.S. children age 2-19 years across food security groups. I became interested in this project for two reasons. First, I was curious to understand the process of research by answering a real-time nutrition question. Second, I was interested to learn how to use and manage large interdisciplinary sets of data. Lastly, I was really curious to understand the dietary behaviors of children and what effects these behaviors.
This project was a continuation of the Summer 2017 FaBULIS (Studying Food and Behavior Using Large Interdisciplinary Sets of Data) Summer Team Project. This data is publicly available and as result used by many researchers to answer different questions. During this project, I am often conducting literature reviews to understand how this survey data was used and whether this association had been evaluated. This literature is also being used to write a paper on the results. In addition, I would do different statistical analysis of the datasets using STATA to understand the characteristics of the sample and the direct association between the food availability and the dietary intake. I spend a fair amount of time creating different ways to present the results data with different data tables and figures.
I discovered many things during this research project. First, literature review is a time consuming but worthwhile process in order to understand the importance of your research and what has already been done to answer your questions. Another discovery I made was the helpfulness of the library’s data services to understand what can be done with data and how to explain your results to different audiences.