Relative validity of habitual sugar and low/no-calorie sweetener consumption assessed by food frequency questionnaire, multiple 24-h dietary recalls and urinary biomarkers: an observational study within the SWEET project

Marion Buso, Hendriek C. Boshuizen, Novita D. Naomi, Walid Maho, Marlies Diepeveen-de Bruin, Michiel Balvers, Jeanne de Vries, Joanne A. Harrold, Jason C.G. Halford, Anne Raben, Edith Feskens, Elske Brouwer-Brolsma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Studies investigating associations between sweeteners and health yield inconsistent results, possibly due to subjective self-report dietary assessment methods. Objectives: We compared the performance of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), multiple 24-h dietary recalls (24hRs), and urinary biomarkers to estimate intake of sugars and low/no-calorie sweeteners (LNCSs). Methods: Participants (n = 848, age 54 ± 12 y) from a 2-y observational study completed 1 semiquantitative FFQ and ≥ 3 nonconsecutive 24hRs. Both methods assessed intake of sugars (mono- and disaccharides, sucrose, fructose, free and added sugars) and sweetened foods and beverages (sugary foods, fruit juice, and sugar or LNCS-containing beverages [sugar-sweetened beverages and low/no-calorie sweetened beverages (LNCSBs)]); 24hRs also included LNCS-containing foods and tabletop sweeteners (low/no-calorie sweetened foods [LNCSFs]). Urinary excretion of sugars (fructose+sucrose) and LNCSs (acesulfame K+sucralose+steviol glucuronide+cyclamate+saccharin) were simultaneously assessed using ultrapressure liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry in 288 participants with 3 annual 24-h urine samples. Methods were compared using, amongst others, validity coefficients (correlations corrected for measurement error). Results: Median (interquartile range) FFQ intakes ranged from 0 (0–7) g/d for LNCSBs to 94 (73–117) g/d for mono- and disaccharides. LNCSB use was reported by 32% of participants. Median LNCSB+LNCSF intake using 24hRs was 1 (0–50) g/d and reported by 58%. Total sugar excretions were detected in 100% of samples [56 (37–85) mg/d] and LNCSs in 99% of urine samples [3 (1–10) mg/d]. Comparing FFQ against 24hRs showed VCs ranging from 0.38 (fruit juice) to 0.74 (LNCSB). VCs for comparing FFQ with urinary excretions were 0.25 to 0.29 for sugars and 0.39 for LNCSBs; for 24hR they amounted to 0.31–0.38 for sugars, 0.37 for LNCSBs, and 0.45 for LNCSFs. Conclusions: The validity of the FFQ against 24hRs for the assessment of sugars and LNCSBs ranged from moderate to good. Comparing self-reports and urine excretions showed moderate agreement but highlighted an important underestimation of LNCS exposure using self-reports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-559
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume119
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • dietary intake
  • fructose
  • low/no-calorie sweetened beverages
  • measurement error models
  • non-nutritive sweeteners
  • sucrose
  • sugar-sweetened beverages
  • urine biomarkers

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