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Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3240-3251; doi:10.3390/nu7053240

Fruit and Vegetable Intake Assessed by Food Frequency Questionnaire and Plasma Carotenoids: A Validation Study in Adults

1
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 22 April 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 6 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Nutrient Intakes)
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Abstract

Dietary validation studies of self-reported fruit and vegetable intake should ideally include measurement of plasma biomarkers of intake. The aim was to conduct a validation study of self-reported fruit and vegetable intakes in adults, using the Australian Eating Survey (AES) food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), against a range of plasma carotenoids. Dietary intakes were assessed using the semi-quantitative 120 item AES FFQ. Fasting plasma carotenoids (α- and β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene and cryptoxanthin) were assessed using high performance liquid chromatography in a sample of 38 adult volunteers (66% female). Significant positive correlations were found between FFQ and plasma carotenoids for α-carotene, β-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin (52%, 47%, 26%, p < 0.001, 0.003, 0.041; respectively) and relationships between plasma carotenoids (except lycopene) and weight status metrics (BMI, waist circumference, fat mass) were negative and highly significant. The results of the current study demonstrate that carotenoid intakes as assessed by the AES FFQ are significantly related to plasma concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin, the carotenoids commonly found in fruit and vegetables. Lower levels of all plasma carotenoids, except lycopene, were found in individuals with higher BMI. We conclude that the AES can be used to measure fruit and vegetable intakes with confidence. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet assessment validation; food frequency questionnaire; fruit vegetable intake; plasma carotenoids diet assessment validation; food frequency questionnaire; fruit vegetable intake; plasma carotenoids
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Burrows, T.L.; Hutchesson, M.J.; Rollo, M.E.; Boggess, M.M.; Guest, M.; Collins, C.E. Fruit and Vegetable Intake Assessed by Food Frequency Questionnaire and Plasma Carotenoids: A Validation Study in Adults. Nutrients 2015, 7, 3240-3251.

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