Skip to main content
King County logo

Public Health news and blog



CDC National Health Survey is coming to King County

Summary

The CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey will be surveying randomly selected households in King County beginning January 4, 2023. Begun in 1960, the NHANES is the most comprehensive survey of health and nutritional status of the U.S. population, with data informing national health policy, programs and care.

Story

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 King County beginning on January 4, 2023.

All counties and cities in the United States have a chance to be selected for the NHANES and, this year, King County is one of 15 counties selected to be part of this initiative. Each year, only 5,000 residents nationwide are chosen 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 throughout the country to collect health information," said Brian C. Moyer, PhD, Director of the NCHS. "The survey provides a wealth of important data about many of the major health and nutritional issues affecting the country."

I'm so pleased that our community was selected to participate in this year's study," said Dr. Faisal Khan, Director of Public Health — Seattle & King County. "I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to participate to do so. The information provided by our residents will help us to better inform our policy makers and provide us with important information as we make decisions on how to best use our public health resources to meet the needs of our community."

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 evidence-based health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge of the nation. NHANES data also help produce national references and standardized growth charts used by pediatricians across the country.

NHANES collects a broad range of data that affect the lives of everyone in the country, regardless of age, addressing everything from air quality to the low-fat and "light" foods found in grocery stores.

Study participant selection and study involvement

An NHANES team of health professionals, nutritionists, and health technicians is heading to King County and urges 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 the county. By selecting participants this way, when combining data from all counties visited this year, NHANES data can more accurately represent the U.S. population.

Randomly selected 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 in their home is eligible to take part. Those 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 of those findings from survey medical staff.

Benefits of participating in NHANES, if selected:

  • 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 in the survey is kept confidential and individual privacy is protected by law. NHANES is taking all precautions needed, as recommended by the CDC, to keep survey participants and staff safe by following guidelines on social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, handwashing, and sanitation of the mobile examination center and all equipment.