Background & aims: Worldwide unhealthy dietary behaviours in women and men in reproductive age are an increasing problem with adverse effects on reproduction. This emphasizes the need for a simple tool to assess the habitual diet in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of the Preconception Dietary Risk score as a tool to determine the inadequacy of the habitual diet. Methods: We investigated 139 patients (68 women, 71 men) planning pregnancy at the outpatient clinic.A summary Preconception Dietary Risk score was calculated from seven questions to assess the inadequacy of the diet using the six Dutch guidelines for the consumption of bread, oils/fats, vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. The Preconception Dietary Risk score was used to predict the nutrient intakes derived from the Food Frequency Questionnaire and validated with the biomarkers of one carbon metabolism in blood. Results: The Preconception Dietary Risk score assessed an inadequate habitual diet in 55.4% of women and 54.2% in men and revealed a sensitivity of more than 80% for an inadequate intake of bread, vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. ANOVA revealed significantly positive linear trends of the Preconception Dietary Risk score for saturated fat intake, and significantly negative trends for the intake of protein, EPA, DHA, fibre, folate and vitamin B6, B12 and C intake. Furthermore, a significant inverse correlation was observed between the Preconception Dietary Risk score and serum vitamin B12 (Spearman's ρ=-0.172, P=0.046). Conclusions: The Preconception Dietary Risk score is a sensitive, quick and simple tool to assess an inadequate habitual diet in clinical practice.
- Food Frequency Questionnaire