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Posted on: November 3, 2021

Shelby County Health Department Supports the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

A logo which reads, "Public Health. Prevent. Promote. Protect. Shelby County Health Department.&#

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population is coming to Shelby County beginning on November 15, 2021, and the Shelby County Health Department fully supports and endorses the work of the NHANES team. 

Why Shelby County? All counties and cities in the United States have a chance to be selected for the NHANES and this year, Shelby County is one of 15 counties that was selected to be part of this initiative. 

Each year, only 5,000 residents across the nation have the chance to participate in NHANES, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

NHANES provides important national data on critical public health issues. “NHANES serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up,’ by going into communities to collect health information throughout the country,” said Brian C. Moyer, PhD, Director of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). “The survey provides a wealth of important data about many of the major health and nutritional issues affecting the country.”  

Since 1960, NHANES has had a prominent role in improving the health of all people living in the U.S. NHANES data address critical health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Public health officials, legislators, and physicians use this information to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs, and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation. NHANES data are also used to produce national references and standardized growth charts used by pediatricians across the country.

Dr. Michelle Taylor, Director of Shelby County Health Department said, “As Shelby County Health Director, I fully support the work of NHANES here in Shelby County. The information the NHANES team gathers from residents is crucially important in setting public health goals and policies that will benefit the health of people right here in this county. If you are selected to participate in the survey, I encourage you to participate. Not only will you gain valuable information about your own health, but you will also help experts learn how to promote better health for everyone.” 

Why Should Every Eligible Resident Participate in NHANES?

  • Participants receive a free and comprehensive health and nutrition evaluation. 
  • Participants help develop and evolve national health programs and policies.
  • Participants receive a token of appreciation for their time.
  • All information collected is confidential, as required by law.

NHANES collects a broad range of data that impact the every-day lives of everyone in the country, regardless of age; addressing everything from air quality, to vaccinations and the low-fat and “light” foods found in grocery stores. Now more than ever, collecting timely information on the status of the nation’s health is critical.  A NHANES team of health professionals, nutritionists and health technicians is heading toward Shelby County and wants everyone who has been selected for the survey to participate.

Residents will have an invitation-only opportunity to participate in NHANES. Addresses are randomly sampled within Shelby County. By selecting participants this way, when combining data from all counties visited this year, NHANES data can represent the U.S. population.

Households will be sent one or more letters inviting them to be part of NHANES by completing a brief online questionnaire to see if anyone is eligible to participate in their home. Anyone eligible will be contacted by an NHANES representative to set up a telephone health interview at a convenient time followed by a health examination that takes place in the NHANES mobile examination center.  While no medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center, a report on physical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff.  All information collected in the survey is kept confidential and privacy is protected by law. NHANES is taking all the precautions needed as recommended by the CDC to keep survey participants and staff safe following CDC guidelines on social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, handwashing, and sanitation of the mobile examination center and all equipment.

For more information about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES):

Press Contacts:
(Primary) George Dixon 202-843-3699

(Secondary) Mercy Alvarenga 301-458-4573


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