Evaluation of diet quality indicators in adults


  • Katarí­na Fatrcová-Šramková Department of Human Nutrition, Slovak University of Agriculture, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of Human Nutrition, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia




Healthy Eating Index, Healthy Diet Indicator, Diet Quality Index, health nutrition, diet quality


Several indices evaluate the quality of diet. The indices are based on nutrient requirements and dietary guidelines for the prevention of chronic diseases (to reduce the risk of chronic diseases). The Healthy Eating Index, Healthy Diet Indicator, and Diet Quality Index consist of components, which represent different aspects of a healthy diet. The indicators of diet quality are based on dietary intake data from 24-hour dietary recalls. 

The aim of the research was to evaluate the nutrition of adults according to the selected criteria of three diet quality indicators: Healthy Eating Index, Healthy Diet Indicator, Diet Quality Index. 234 nutrition daily records were evaluated (from 78 probands per 3 days). Nutritional intake and blood biochemical parameters were defined in 56 females and 22 men (72% and 28% respectively) aged from 24 to 62 years. The nutritional software Alimenta 4.3e (Food Research Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2004) was used to calculate the nutrient intake. The evaluation of nutrition intake was focused on four parameters/recommendations of the Healthy Eating Index (to reduce total fat intake to 30% or less of energy, to reduce saturated fatty acid intake to less than 10% of energy, to reduce cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg daily, to limit total daily intake of sodium to 2400 mg or less), on five parameters/recommendations of the Healthy Diet Indicator (saturated fatty acids 0-10% of energy intake, polyunsaturated fatty acids 3-7% of energy intake, protein 10-15% of energy intake, dietary fiber 27-40 g, cholesterol 0-300 mg), on five parameters/recommendations of the Diet Quality Index (to reduce total fat intake to 30% or less of energy,to reduce saturated fatty acid intake to less than 10% of energy, to reduce cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg daily, to limit total daily intake of sodium to 2400 mg or less, to maintain adequate calcium intake – approximately Recommended Dietary Allowance levels, i.e. ³RDA). Blood samples from peripheral blood were taken after all-night starvation and then analyzed by using Reflotron (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Mannheim, Germany). The data from nutritional intake and biochemical parameters were analyzed using t-test and chi-quadrat-test.

The normal cholesterolaemia occured in 47% (thr first group Without risk), and 53% of the examined participants (the second group Risk) were classified with risky cholesterol values (5 mmol.l-1 and more). Among the subjects with hypercholesterolaemia they had 27% higher values of triglycerides (1.9 mmol.l-1 and more), while in the rest of set there were only 14% characterized with hypertriacylglycerolaemia. The probands with the negative high cholesterol level in blood had significantly higher triacylglycerolaemia (P<0.001) and the age of (P<0.05).

In case of Healthy Eating Index the most participants met the criterion only for one recommendation (41%), and fifth of volunteers fulfilled two recommendation altogether. Taking into account all parameters the probands met cholesterol in diet (56%) best, less saturated fat (35%), total fat (24%), and at least sodium intake (9%). Within Healthy Diet Indicator there were recorded fulfillments: for cholesterol in 56%, for saturated fatty acids in 35%, for protein in 32%, for fiber in 22%, and for polyunsaturated fatty acids in 17%. From five criteria there was met only one recommendation of 36% of subjects, 17% achieved two fulfillments, and other 17% three ones. Evaluation of Diet Quality Index recorded that the following order of recommendation fulfillment was obtained: cholesterol (56 %) > calcium (44 %) > saturated fat (35 %) > total fat (24 %) > natrium (9 %). Only one fulfillment reached 37 %, two recommendations met 27 %, and three 14 %.

From all three considered indicators the recommendation for cholesterol intake was met most (by 56% probands), worst for total fat (24%), fiber (22%), polyunsaturated fat (17%), and  natrium (9%).

In conclusion, this study demonstrated higher saturated fat, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and significantly higher calcium intake (P<0.05) in the examined participants with normal cholesterolaemia in comparison with  the group of  risk cholesterol.


Download data is not yet available.


Avdičová, M., Dobiášová, V., Gerová, Z. 2000. Metodická príručka pre prácu v poradniach zdravia. Bratislava : Ministerstvo zdravotníctva. 57 s. ISBN 80-7159-125-4.

Basiotis, P. P., Carlson, A., Gerrior, S. A., Juan, W. Y., Lino, M. 2002. The Healthy Eating Index: 1999-2000. Washington DC. : U.S. Department for Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. CNPP-12. Available at:: www.cnpp.usda.gov.

Britten, P., Marcoe, K., Yamini, S., Davis, C. 2006. Development of Food Intake Patterns for the MyPyramid Food Guidance System. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, vol. 38, no. 6S, p. S78-S92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2006.08.007 PMid: 17116598

Bowman, S. A., Lino, M., Gerrior, S. A., Basiotis, P. P. 1998. The Healthy Eating Index: 1994-96. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. CNPP-5.

Carlson, A., Lino, M., Gerrior, S., Basiotis, P. P. 2001. Report card on the diet quality of children ages 2 to 9. In Nutrition Insight 25. Washington DC. : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA. www.cnpp.usda.gov.

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2000. Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2000. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.

Drewnowski, A., Fiddler, E. C., Dauchet, L., Galan, P., Hercberg, S. 2009. Diet quality measures and cardiovascular risk factors in France: applying the Healthy Eating Index to the SU.VI.MAX study. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 28, no. 1, p. 22-29. https://doi.org/10.1080 /07315724.2009.10719757 PMid: 19571156

Dubois, L., Girard, M., Bergeron, N. 2000. The choice of a diet quality indicator to evaluate the nutritional health of populations. Public Health Nutrition, vol. 3, no. 3, p. 357-365. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980000000409 PMid: 10979155

Dudriková, E., Fatrcová-Šramková, K., Lovayová, V. 2012. Porovnanie konzumácie hydiny a rýb oproti konzumácii červeného mäsa u vysokoškolských študentov. Hygiena alimentorum XXXIII. Košice : Univerzita veterinárskeho lekárstva a farmácie, s. 201-204. ISBN 978-80-7148-063-1

Fatrcová-Šramková, K. 2010. Components of the Healthy Eating Index in nutrition of adult females. Potravinarstvo, vol. 4, no. 4, p. 73-79. https://doi.org/10.5219/106

Fogli-Cawley, J. J., Dwyer, J. T., Saltzman, E., McCullough, M. L., Troy, L. M., Meiggs, J. B., Jacques, P. F. 2007. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and risk of the metabolic syndrome. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 86, p. 1193-1201. PMid: 17921402

Fung, T. T., McCullough, M. L., Newby, P. K., Manson, J. E., Meigs, J. B., Rifai, N., Willett, W. C., Hu, F. B. 2005. Diet quality scores and plasma concentrations of markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 82, p. 163-173. PMid: 16002815

Gibson, R. S. 2005. Principles of Nutritional Assessment. 2nd ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press. 908 p. ISBN 978-0-19-517169-3.

Guenther, P. M., Krebs-Smith, S. M., Reedy, J., Britten, P., Juan, W. Y., Lino, M., Carlson, A., Hiza, H. A., Basiotis, P. P. 2006. Healthy Eating Index-2005. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. CNPP-Fatc Sheet No. 1, December 2006. Available at: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/HEI/healthyeatingindex2005factsheet.pdf

Hann, C. S., Rock, C. L., King, I., Drewnowski, A. 2001. Validation of the Healthy Eating Index with use of plasma biomarkers in a clinical sample of women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 74, no. 4, p. 479-486. PMid: 11566646

Haščík, P., Elimam, I. E., Bobko, M., Kačániová, M., Pochop, J., Garlík, J., Kročko, M., Čuboň , J., Vavrišínová, K., Arpášová, H., Capcarová, M., Benczová, M. 2011. Oxidative stability of chicken meat after pollen extract application in their diet. Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 70-82.

Health Canada, 1990. Nutrition recommendations: Report of the Scientific Review Committee. Ottawa : Minister of Supplies and Services Canada.

Huijbregts, P., Feskens, E., Rasanen, L., Fidanza, F., Nissinen, A., Menotti, A., Kromhout, D. 1997. Dietary pattern and 20 year mortality in elderly men in Finland, Italy, and the Netherlands: longitudinal cohort study. British Medical Journal, vol. 315, no. 7099, p. 13-17. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7099.13 PMid: 9233319

Kačániová, M., Juráček, M., Chlebo, R., Kňazovická, V., Kádasi Horáková, M., Kunová, S., Lejková, J., Haščík, P., Mareček, J., Šimko, M. 2011. Mycobiota and mycotoxins in bee pollen collected from different areas of Slovakia. Journal of Environmental Science and Health B, vol. 46, no. 7, p. 623-629. PMid: 21749250

Kajaba, I., Šimončič, R., Ginter, E., Ondrejka, J., Trusková, I., Kaláč, J., Bzdúch, V. 1999. Odporúčané výživové dávky pre obyvateľstvo Slovenska (8. revízia OVD). Výživa a zdravie, vol. 44, no. 2, s. 25-29.

Kennedy, E. T., Ohls, J., Carlson, S., Fleming, K. 1995. The Healthy Eating Index: design and applications. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 95, no. 10, p. 1103-1108. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(95)00300-2

Kourlaba, G., Panagiotakos, D. B. 2009. Dietary quality indices and human health: A review. Maturitas, vol. 62, no. 1, p. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2008.11.021 PMid: 19128905

Mareček, J., Mocko, K., Ivanišová, E., Líšková, M., Mendelová, A. 2011. Enzymatic and antioxidant activity characteristic of the varieties Triticum aestivum L. and Triticum durum L. Chemické listy, vol. 105, spec. iss. S, p. 1040.

McCullough, M. L., Feskanich, D., Rimm, E. B., Giovannucci, E. L., Ascherio, A., Variyam, J. N., Spiegelman, D., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C. 2000a. Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and risk of major chronic disease in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 72, p. 1223-1231. PMid: 11063453

McCullough, M. L, Feskanich, D, Stampfer, M. J, Rosner, B. A, Hu, F. B, Hunter, D. J, Variyam, J. N, Colditz, G. A, Willett, W. C. 2000b. Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and risk of major chronic disease in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 72, p. 1214-1222. PMid: 11063452

National Research Council, Committee on Diet and Health, Food and Nutrition Board, 1989. Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Patterson, R. E., Haines, P. S., Popkin, B. M. 1994. Diet quality index : capturing a multidimensional behavior. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 94, no. 1, p. 57-64. https://doi.org/10.1016/0002-8223(94)92042-7

Seymour, J. D., Calle, E. E., Flagg, E. W., Coates, R. J., Ford, E. S., Thun, M. J. 2003. Diet Quality Index as a predictor of short-term mortality in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 157, no. 11, p. 980-988. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwg077 PMid: 12777361

USDA, 1995. The Healthy Eating Index. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. CNPP-1.

USDA, 1996. The Food Guide Pyramid. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Home and Garden Bulletin Number 252.

Variyam, J. N., Blaylock, J., Smallwood, D., Basiotis, P. P. 1998. USDA´s Healthy Eating Index and Nutrition Information. Technical Bulletin No. 1866, April 1998.

Vestník MZ SR, roč. 45, čiastka 7-8, zo dňa 28. apríla 1997.




How to Cite

Fatrcová-Šramková, K. . (2013). Evaluation of diet quality indicators in adults. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, 7(1), 171–180. https://doi.org/10.5219/302

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Similar Articles

1 2 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.