Compendium of Dietary Files for Mexican-Influenced Communities v.1™


Mexican Influenced Diet Food List

Foods from the BAsES 24 hour recall study were either entered directly into the DRG™ dietary file food list or were combined into logical categories which were included on the food list. The food list was also designed in a hierarchical fashion which allowed for subcategories of foods to be considered as a part of a more general food category. All foods were assigned a calorie value per 100g. This value was retrieved from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. An example of the hierarchy and combined food groups follows. Squash is at the base of the hierarchy and zucchini, summer type, and other squash are subsets of this more general food category and thus make up the hierarchy for this food. Zucchini was reported in the BAsES survey in both the “raw” and “cooked from fresh” forms. These two forms as reported in BAsES were combined to make one food entry.

  • Zucchini (raw or cooked from fresh)
  • Summer type (green or yellow) raw or cooked from fresh
  • Other squash (butternut; pumpkin, cooked from fresh; chayote - cooked; and winter types (dark green or orange), cooked)

Consumption Parameters: Daily Intake Values

Daily intake values represent the total amount of a food eaten on a given daily dietary record. In some cases this required that the portion sizes be summed to get the total amount consumed on that daily dietary record. The daily intake values were then grouped into logical categories of foods which were assumed to be eaten with similar patterns. Assumptions were made with professional judgment, and reviewed by scientists familiar with the 24 hour recall data at the University of Arizona. This was done so that a bigger sample of daily intake values (often specific to the four age/season categories) could be applied across food categories and frequently allowed for the construction of distributions to represent the daily intake of the foods in the food category. For example, an assumption was made that all sodas would have a relatively similar profile of consumption when it came to how much people consumed, therefore, a set of daily intake values for each of the four age season categories was calculated and applied to all sodas.

Consumption Parameters: Probability of Eating

Two probabilities are relevant to the hierarchy in this dietary file. For foods that are at the most basic level (1st level consumption group) an independent probability of eating was calculated (general categories, like squash in the above example are first level consumption groups). This independent probability is not related to the probability that any of the other foods on the food list will be consumed. For foods that are at higher order “levels” the probability that they are eaten is competitive with the other foods at that same level in the hierarchy (in the squash example; zucchini, summer, and other squash exhibit a probability that is competitive with/relative to one another. IF squash is eaten, THEN one of the three types is selected. Therefore the sum of these higher order probabilities will always be 1).

The probabilities were calculated specific to age and season when data density would allow. They are representative of the frequency with which the food is reported being eaten and were calculated by dividing the total number of reported eating events with the total number of records in the age season category.

Energy Intake

The calorie intake for each individual daily record in the survey was calculated. This was done by summing the calorie content corresponding with each food and portion size reported on each day’s record (respectively). For each age/season category the highest and lowest values were selected and used as the maximum and minimum for the corresponding age/season category.


The creation of this DRG file was sponsored by US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Contract Number EPO8H001680. Liz Resek served as the Project Officer and staff at the University of Arizona, Division of Environmental and Community Health provided collaboration, data and extensive guidance in the creation of this file.

LifeLine scientists are sincerely grateful to Dr. Mary Kay O’Rourke for her significant effort and collaboration which made this project successful. We would also like to thank Jason Roberge for his expert guidance in developing the dietary file.

Download the files here