Repeatability and relative validity of a quantitative food-frequency questionnaire among French adults
Background: A 50-item self-administered food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was developed for French
adults, to assess the intake of energy, 10 macronutrients, 11 vitamins, and 11 minerals, and to be used in the
context of a medical consultation.
Objective: To assess the repeatability and relative validity of this FFQ compared to a 7-day diet record
Design: A total of 54 and 100 French adults were included in the repeatability and validation studies,
respectively. Repeatability was assessed using two FFQs, the second carried out 3 weeks after the first. In the
validation study, subjects first completed the FFQ, then the 7-DR the following week. Energy and nutrient
intakes were compared using Pearson correlation. The degree of misclassification by the FFQ, compared to
the 7-DR, was calculated by a contingency table of quintiles. BlandAltman plots assessed the correlation
between FFQ and 7-DR across the intake range.
Results: Repeatability for intake, explored by Pearson correlation, was 0.620.90 (median: 0.81). Relative
validity, as determined by Pearson correlation for the nutrient intake derived from the FFQ and 7-DR, was
0.360.80 (0.64). The FFQ tended to report higher fiber and micronutrient intake than 7-DR. Misclassification
into opposite quintiles ranged 06% (1%), whereas classification into same or adjacent quintiles ranged
5983% (74%). BlandAltman plots showed good agreement for most nutrients across the range of intake.
Conclusion: This new FFQ showed a high repeatability and good relative validity, and thanks to its short
length, should be a useful tool for rapidly evaluating the nutrient intake of French adults.
Keywords: nutrient intake; diet record; relative validation; adult; France
(Published: 30 October 2012)
Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2012. 56: 18472 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v56i0.18472
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