FDA Total Diet Study (TDS)
The FDA Total Diet Study (TDS) monitors levels of nutrients (for example, calcium and iron) and contaminants (for example, arsenic and lead) in foods eaten by people in the U.S. Using these data, we estimate how much of the nutrients and contaminants the entire U.S. population and subpopulations eat each day, on average. The TDS complements FDA’s other food safety and nutrition programs.
Since the TDS began in 1961, as a program to monitor for radioactive contamination of foods, the TDS has expanded to monitor levels of nutrient elements, toxic elements, pesticide residues, and other chemicals in foods. We buy the foods from the same retail outlets that people buy food from, and we prepare the foods as people typically would, to provide realistic estimates of what is in the foods we eat. The ongoing nature of the study enables us to track trends in the average U.S. consumer diet and inform the development of interventions to reduce or minimize risks, when needed.
To learn more about the FDA’s Total Diet Study, please visit:
Design and Implementation: Description of how the TDS is designed and implemented.
Foods and Dietary Exposure Estimation: Explanation of what foods are collected and how dietary exposure is estimated using TDS data.
Analytes and Analytical Methods: Learn about the analytes and analytical methods we use.
Results: Summary report of the FY2018-FY2020 TDS elements data and downloadable data files, as well as a list of TDS related publications.
If you have questions about the FDA Total Diet Study, email TDS@fda.hhs.gov.