The aim of this study was to evaluate the test–retest reproducibility of a non-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (acronym: 62-item FFQ-6) and the possibility of identifying dietary patterns (DPs) in 13–21-year-old females. The study involved 97 females within three age groups: 13–15, 16–18, and 19–21 years, including 31, 38, and 28 subjects, respectively. The questionnaire was completed twice with a two-week interval (test and retest). For the total sample, using a principal component analysis (PCA), two similar PCA-driven DPs (DP1 and DP2) were identified separately from test data and retest data, considering two sets of input variables. 60-item-DP1 and 60-item-DP2 were identified after excluding two items—vegetables and fruits in general—due to including single items of various kinds of vegetables and fruits. After an aggregation of some items of the questionnaire, 25-item-DP1 and 25-item-DP2 were identified. The kappa statistic (test vs. retest) in the total sample averaged at 0.52 (0.32–0.72 for food items), while within age groups, it averaged at 0.41, 0.53, and 0.65, respectively. The percentage of subjects classified into the same food frequency category (test vs. retest) in the total sample averaged at 68% (51%–89% for food items), while within age groups, it averaged at 60%, 68%, and 77%, respectively. The Spearman correlations between dietary pattern scores (test vs. retest) in the total sample were: 0.84 (within age groups 0.83, 0.81, and 0.78, respectively) for 60-item-DP1, 0.68 (within age groups 0.24, 0.79, and 0.76, respectively) for 60-item-DP2, 0.76 (within age groups 0.56, 0.82, and 0.89, respectively) for 25-item-DP1, and 0.48 (within age groups 0.40, 0.57, and 0.53, respectively) for 25-item-DP2 (p
< 0.05 for all). In conclusion, the test–retest reproducibility of the 62-item FFQ-6 was good or very good for most food items, with a tendency to be higher in older age groups of females under study. Due to the acceptable-to-good reproducibility of dietary pattern identification, the use of a 62-item FFQ-6 to describe the overall diet of young Polish females can be recommended.
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