Reproducibility and relative validity of a food-frequency questionnaire for French-speaking Swiss adults

  • Pedro Marques-Vidal Institut Universitaire de Médecine Sociale et Préventive
  • Alastair Ross Nestlé Research Center
  • Emma Wynn Nestlé Research Center
  • Serge Rezzi Nestlé Research Center
  • Fred Paccaud Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
  • Bernard Decarli Nestlé Research Center
Keywords: Human nutrition, Nutrition epidemiology, food frequency questionnaire, reproducibility, validation, adult, Switzerland


Background: Due to the distinct cultural and language differences that exist in Switzerland, there is little information on the dietary intake among the general Swiss population. Adequately assessing dietary intake is thus paramount if nutritional epidemiological studies are to be conducted. Objective: To assess the reproducibility and validity of a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) developed for French-speaking Swiss adults. Design: A total of 23 men and 17 women (43.1 ± 2.0 years) filled out one FFQ and completed one 24-hour dietary recall at baseline and 1 month afterward. Results: Crude Pearson’s correlation coefficients between the first and the second FFQ ranged from 0.58 to 0.90, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) ranged between 0.53 and 0.92. Lin’s concordance coefficients ranged between 0.55 and 0.87. Over 80% of participants were classified in the same or adjacent tertile using each FFQ. Macronutrient intakes estimated by both FFQs were significantly higher than those estimated from the 24-hour recall for protein and water, while no significant differences were found for energy, carbohydrate, fats (five groups), and alcohol. De-attenuated Pearson’s correlation coefficients between the 24- hour recall and the first FFQ ranged between 0.31 and 0.49, while for the second FFQ the values ranged between 0.38 and 0.59. Over 40 and 95% of participants fell into the same or the adjacent energy and nutrient tertiles, respectively, using the FFQs and the 24-hour recall. Conclusions: This FFQ shows good reproducibility and can be used determining macronutrient intake in a French-speaking Swiss population in an epidemiological setting.

Keywords: food frequency questionnaire; reproducibility; validation; adult; Switzerland

(Published: 6 May 2011)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2011, 55: 5905 - DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v55i0.5905


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How to Cite
Marques-Vidal P., Ross A., Wynn E., Rezzi S., Paccaud F., & Decarli B. (2011). Reproducibility and relative validity of a food-frequency questionnaire for French-speaking Swiss adults. Food & Nutrition Research. Retrieved from
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