Design Characteristics of Food Frequency Questionnaires in Relation to Their Validity

M.L. Molag, J.H.M. de Vries, M.C. Ocke, P.C. Dagnelie, P.A. van den Brandt, S.C. Jansen, W.A. van Staveren, P. van 't Veer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

The authors investigated the role of food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) design, including length, use of portion-size questions, and FFQ origin, in ranking subjects according to their nutrient intake. They also studied the ability of the FFQ to detect differences in energy intake between subgroups and to assess energy and protein intake. In a meta-analysis of 40 validation studies, FFQs with longer food lists (200 items) were better than shorter FFQs at ranking subjects for most nutrients; results were statistically significant for protein, energy-adjusted total fat, and energy-adjusted vitamin C. The authors found that FFQs that included standard portions had higher correlation coefficients for energy-adjusted vitamin C (0.80 vs. 0.60, p <0.0001) and protein (0.69 vs. 0.61, p = 0.03) than FFQs with portion-size questions. However, it remained difficult from this review to analyze the effects of using portion-size questions. FFQs slightly underestimated gender differences in energy intake, although level of energy intake was underreported by 23% and level of protein intake by 17%. The authors concluded that FFQs with more items are better able to rank people according to their intake and that they are able to distinguish between subpopulations, even though they underestimated the magnitude of these differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1468-1478
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume166
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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Portion Size
Energy Intake
Food
Ascorbic Acid
Proteins
Validation Studies
Meta-Analysis
Surveys and Questionnaires
Fats

Keywords

  • dietary assessment methods
  • doubly-labeled water
  • energy-intake
  • nutrient intake
  • assessment instruments
  • history questionnaire
  • biochemical markers
  • urinary nitrogen
  • weighed records
  • womens health

Cite this

Molag, M.L. ; de Vries, J.H.M. ; Ocke, M.C. ; Dagnelie, P.C. ; van den Brandt, P.A. ; Jansen, S.C. ; van Staveren, W.A. ; van 't Veer, P. / Design Characteristics of Food Frequency Questionnaires in Relation to Their Validity. In: American Journal of Epidemiology. 2007 ; Vol. 166, No. 12. pp. 1468-1478.
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author = "M.L. Molag and {de Vries}, J.H.M. and M.C. Ocke and P.C. Dagnelie and {van den Brandt}, P.A. and S.C. Jansen and {van Staveren}, W.A. and {van 't Veer}, P.",
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Molag, ML, de Vries, JHM, Ocke, MC, Dagnelie, PC, van den Brandt, PA, Jansen, SC, van Staveren, WA & van 't Veer, P 2007, 'Design Characteristics of Food Frequency Questionnaires in Relation to Their Validity', American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 166, no. 12, pp. 1468-1478. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwm236

Design Characteristics of Food Frequency Questionnaires in Relation to Their Validity. / Molag, M.L.; de Vries, J.H.M.; Ocke, M.C.; Dagnelie, P.C.; van den Brandt, P.A.; Jansen, S.C.; van Staveren, W.A.; van 't Veer, P.

In: American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 166, No. 12, 2007, p. 1468-1478.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Molag, M.L.

AU - de Vries, J.H.M.

AU - Ocke, M.C.

AU - Dagnelie, P.C.

AU - van den Brandt, P.A.

AU - Jansen, S.C.

AU - van Staveren, W.A.

AU - van 't Veer, P.

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KW - energy-intake

KW - nutrient intake

KW - assessment instruments

KW - history questionnaire

KW - biochemical markers

KW - urinary nitrogen

KW - weighed records

KW - womens health

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JO - American Journal of Epidemiology

JF - American Journal of Epidemiology

SN - 0002-9262

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