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Food frequency questionnaires: a review of their design, validation and utilisation

Food frequency questionnaires: a review of their design, validation and utilisation
Food frequency questionnaires: a review of their design, validation and utilisation
A review of the literature concerning the design, utilisation and validation of food-frequency questionnaires (FFQ) has been carried out using a semi-systematic approach to obtaining, reviewing and extracting data from articles. Databases were searched from 1980 to 1999. The present review identified 227 validation (from 1980 to September 1999) and 164 utilisation (for 1998 only) studies. A number of design issues have been evaluated through the present review. These include: the need to consider how portion sizes have been described, self-defined giving higher mean correlations; how an FFQ was administered, interviewer-administered giving higher mean correlations for some nutrients; how many items to include on an FFQ, those with the largest number of items having higher correlations. Validation techniques were described. Most validation studies involved comparing an FFQ against another dietary assessment method; only 19 % compared an FFQ to a biomarker. Measurement differences were most commonly assessed by correlation coefficients as opposed to other more appropriate methods. Mean correlation coefficients were highest for Ca and fat, and lowest for vitamin A and vegetables. The utilisation studies showed that FFQ were most commonly used in cross-sectional surveys, with ninety-three of the FFQ being designed to be disease-specific. The present review results were presented to a group of experts and a consensus arrived at concerning the development, validation and use of FFQ. Recommendations derived from the consensus arising from the literature review are presented as an appendix to the present paper.
food-frequency questionnaires, validation, reproducibility
0954-4224
5-23
Cade, J.E.
df7f8cfe-789e-43b1-94fc-85d82f8367a7
Burley, V.J.
b714fe29-5c63-4b2a-b8ac-2cfe5bb6fd04
Warm, D.L.
25f6254d-baa4-4af0-bd89-acb14bab8dc9
Thompson, R.L.
1a394a6d-b006-4aec-b9be-b3e6c16fdb7b
Margetts, B.M.
d415f4a1-d572-4ebc-be25-f54886cb4788
Cade, J.E.
df7f8cfe-789e-43b1-94fc-85d82f8367a7
Burley, V.J.
b714fe29-5c63-4b2a-b8ac-2cfe5bb6fd04
Warm, D.L.
25f6254d-baa4-4af0-bd89-acb14bab8dc9
Thompson, R.L.
1a394a6d-b006-4aec-b9be-b3e6c16fdb7b
Margetts, B.M.
d415f4a1-d572-4ebc-be25-f54886cb4788

Cade, J.E., Burley, V.J., Warm, D.L., Thompson, R.L. and Margetts, B.M. (2004) Food frequency questionnaires: a review of their design, validation and utilisation. Nutrition Research Reviews, 17 (1), 5-23. (doi:10.1079/NRR200370).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A review of the literature concerning the design, utilisation and validation of food-frequency questionnaires (FFQ) has been carried out using a semi-systematic approach to obtaining, reviewing and extracting data from articles. Databases were searched from 1980 to 1999. The present review identified 227 validation (from 1980 to September 1999) and 164 utilisation (for 1998 only) studies. A number of design issues have been evaluated through the present review. These include: the need to consider how portion sizes have been described, self-defined giving higher mean correlations; how an FFQ was administered, interviewer-administered giving higher mean correlations for some nutrients; how many items to include on an FFQ, those with the largest number of items having higher correlations. Validation techniques were described. Most validation studies involved comparing an FFQ against another dietary assessment method; only 19 % compared an FFQ to a biomarker. Measurement differences were most commonly assessed by correlation coefficients as opposed to other more appropriate methods. Mean correlation coefficients were highest for Ca and fat, and lowest for vitamin A and vegetables. The utilisation studies showed that FFQ were most commonly used in cross-sectional surveys, with ninety-three of the FFQ being designed to be disease-specific. The present review results were presented to a group of experts and a consensus arrived at concerning the development, validation and use of FFQ. Recommendations derived from the consensus arising from the literature review are presented as an appendix to the present paper.

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More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: food-frequency questionnaires, validation, reproducibility

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 25309
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/25309
ISSN: 0954-4224
PURE UUID: 22b5f9af-0460-4e15-a5f7-2c213c515f56

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Date deposited: 07 Apr 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:16

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