The National Health Survey Act, 1956, provided the legislation authorizing for a
continuing survey to provide current statistical data on the amount, distribution, and
effects of illness and disability in the United States. NHANES was created to fulfill the
purpose of this act. The current NHANES is the eighth in a series of national examination
studies conducted in the United States since 1960.
NHANES is designed to collect information
about the health and diet of people in the United States. These data are used to fulfill
NHANES data have been used to influence
policy and improve the health of the U.S. population in many ways.