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Reproducibility and Validity of a Short Food Frequency Questionnaire for Dietary Assessment in Children Aged 7–9 Years in Spain

1
Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, History of Medicine and Gynecology, University Miguel Hernández, 03550 Alacant, Spain
2
Alicante Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (ISABIAL-FISABIO Foundation), 03010 Alicante, Spain
3
CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28009 Madrid, Spain
4
Epidemiology and Environmental Health Joint Research Unit, FISABIO−Universitat Jaume I−Universitat de València, 46010 Valencia, Spain
5
Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region, FISABIO-Public Health, 46035 Valencia, Spain
6
Department of Surgery and Pathology, University Miguel Hernández, 03550 Alacant, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040933
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine if the short semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) is a reliable and valid tool to assess the diet of Spanish children aged 7–9 years. We collected data from 156 children of the birth cohort INMA (Infancia y Medio Ambiente (Environment and Childhood)). Children’s parents or care-givers completed a 46-item FFQ on two occasions over a 9–12-month period about the children’s diet. To explore the reproducibility of the FFQ, the nutrient and food group intake collected from the both FFQs were compared, while validity was examined by contrasting the nutrient values from the FFQs and the average of three 24-hour dietary recalls (24hDRs) taken in this period, and also with the concentration of several vitamins in the blood (carotenoids, vitamin D and α-tocopherol). Pearson and de-attenuated correlation coefficients were calculated. The average correlation coefficients for nutrient intake’s reproducibility was 0.41, ranging from 0.25 (calcium) to 0.65 (β-carotene), and for food group intake was 0.45, ranging from 0.18 (cereals) to 0.68 (sweetened beverages). Correlation coefficients slightly improved when we compared energy-adjusted intakes. The average correlation coefficients for validity against 24hDRs was 0.34 for energy-adjusted intakes, and 0.39 when de-attenuation coefficients were used. The validity coefficients against the blood concentrations of vitamins were 0.38 for β-cryptoxanthin, 0.26 for lycopene, 0,23 for α-carotene and 0.15 for β-carotene, all of them statistically significant (p < 0.05). This study suggests that our brief FFQ is a suitable tool for the dietary assessment of a wide range of nutrients and food groups in children 7–9 years, despite the low to moderate reproducibility and validity observed for some nutrients. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet; nutrient intake; food frequency questionnaire; childhood; validity; 24-hour dietary recall; nutritional biomarker; reproducibility; Mediterranean country diet; nutrient intake; food frequency questionnaire; childhood; validity; 24-hour dietary recall; nutritional biomarker; reproducibility; Mediterranean country
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Vioque, J.; Garcia-de-la-Hera, M.; Gonzalez-Palacios, S.; Torres-Collado, L.; Notario-Barandiaran, L.; Oncina-Canovas, A.; Soler-Blasco, R.; Lozano, M.; Beneito, A.; Navarrete-Muñoz, E.-M. Reproducibility and Validity of a Short Food Frequency Questionnaire for Dietary Assessment in Children Aged 7–9 Years in Spain. Nutrients 2019, 11, 933.

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