Over 900 scientific papers and federal reports using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) have been published since 2008 when the HEI-2005 was released. Published papers include analyses using the, HEI-2005, HEI-2010, HEI-2015, the newly released HEI-2020 and HEI-Toddlers-2020. The articles listed here are limited to federally authored papers and reports, particularly those related to the update and evaluation of the tool.
Healthy Eating Index Update and Evaluation Publications
Peer-reviewed articles describing how the HEI-2020, HEI-Toddlers-2020, HEI-2015, HEI-2010, and HEI-2005 were updated and evaluated for validity have been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association) and the Journal of Nutrition.
- HEI-2020 and HEI-Toddlers-2020
- Pannucci TE, Lerman J, Herrick KA, et al. Development of the Healthy Eating Index-Toddlers-2020. J Acad Nutr Diet. Published online May 18, 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2023.05.013
- Lerman JL, Herrick KA, Pannucci TE, et al. Evaluation of the Healthy Eating Index-Toddlers-2020, J Acad Nutr Diet. Published online May 15, 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2023.05.014
- Herrick KA, Lerman JL, Pannucci TE, et al. Continuity, Considerations, and Future Directions for the Healthy Eating Index-Toddlers-2020 (HEI-Toddlers-2020). J Acad Nutr Diet. Published online May 18, 2023 doi:10.1016/j.jand.2023.05.012
- Shams-White MM, Pannucci TE, Lerman J, et al. Healthy Eating Index-2020. Review and Update Process to Reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. J Acad Nutr Diet. Published online May 15, 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2023.05.015.
- Krebs-Smith S, Pannucci T, Subar A, et al. Update of the Healthy Eating Index: HEI-2015. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018; 118(9):1591-1602. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.05.021
- Reedy J, Lerman J, Krebs-Smith S, et al. Evaluation of the Healthy Eating Index-2015. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018 Sep; 118(9):1622-1633. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.05.019
- Hiza HAB, Koegel KL, Pannucci TE. Diet Quality: The Key to Healthy Eating. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018; 118(9):1583-1585. doi: /10.1016/j.jand.2018.07.002
- Panizza CE, Shvetsov YB, Harmon BE, et al. Testing the Predictive Validity of the Healthy Eating Index-2015 in the Multiethnic Cohort: Is the Score Associated with a Reduced Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality? Nutrients. 2018; 10(4):452. doi:10.3390/nu10040452
- Guenther PM, Casavale KO, Reedy J, et al. Update of the Healthy Eating Index: HEI-2010. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113(4): 569-580. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.12.016
- Guenther PM, Kirkpatrick SI, Reedy J, et al. The Healthy Eating Index-2010 Is a Valid and Reliable Measure of Diet Quality According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. J Nutr. 2014; 144(3):399-407. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.183079
- Guenther PM, Reedy J, Krebs-Smith SM. Development of the Healthy Eating Index-2005. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108(11):1896-1901. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.08.016
- Guenther PM, Reedy J, Krebs-Smith, SM, Breeve, BB. Evaluation of the Healthy Eating Index-2005. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108(11):1854-1864. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.08.011
Guidance for Research Related to HEI Scores
Researchers can access technical resources and tools on the HHS, National Cancer Institute’s website, Overview and Background of The Healthy Eating Index. Information includes guidance for calculating HEI scores, including information to help researchers choose the most appropriate method and sample SAS codes for various types of analyses.
A paper titled "Applications of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Interventions Research: Considerations and Caveats” describes salient issues in the calculation and interpretation of scores can help researchers avoid common pitfalls and reviewers ensure that articles reporting on the use of the HEI include sufficient details such that the work is comprehensible and replicable, with the overall goal of contributing to knowledge on dietary patterns and health among Americans.
Kirkpatrick S, Reedy J, Krebs-Smith S, et al. Applications of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Intervention Research: Considerations and Caveats. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018; 118(9):1603-1621. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.05.020
Archived Healthy Eating Index Resources and Publications
Publications and federal reports related to the HEI that were published prior to 2018 are available in the archived resources section of this page.
- Hiza HAB, Koegel KL, Pannucci TE. Diet Quality: The Key to Healthy Eating. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018; 118(9):1583-1585. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.07.002
- Schap T, Kuczynski K, Hiza H. Healthy Eating Index-Beyond the Score. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017; 117(4):519-521. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2017.02.002
- Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2017. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
- Hiza HAB, Guenther PM, Rihane CI. Diet Quality of Children Age 2-17 Years as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2010. Nutrition Insight. 2013; 52
- Hiza HA, Casavale KO, Guenther PM, Davis CA. Diet Quality of Americans Differs by Age, Sex, Race/Ethnicity, Income, and Education Level. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013; 113(2):297-306. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.08.011
- Fungwe T, Guenther PM, Juan W, Hiza HA, Lino M. The Quality of Children’s Diets in 2003-04 as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005. Nutrition Insight. 2009; 43
- Guenther PM, Juan W, Lino M, et al. Diet Quality of Low-Income and Higher Income Americans in 2003-04 as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005. Nutrition Insight. 2008; 42
- Juan W, Guenther PM, Kott PS. Diet Quality of Older Americans in 1994-96 and 2001-02 as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005. Nutrition Insight. 2008; 41
- Guenther PM, Juan W, Reedy J, et al. Diet Quality of Americans in 1994-96 and 2001-02 as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005. Nutrition Insight. 2008; 37
The Original HEI
In 1995, the original Healthy Eating Index was developed by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, in cooperation with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and the USDA Agricultural Research Service, to measure how well the diets of Americans align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. While the main purpose of the HEI has remained the same throughout the series of HEI updates, the design and application of the current HEI have changed substantially since its inception. These new features are reflected beginning with the HEI-2005. Documentation related to the original HEI has been archived.