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Open Access Research

Validity and reproducibility of an interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire for healthy French-Canadian men and women

Julie Goulet, Geneviève Nadeau, Annie Lapointe, Benoît Lamarche and Simone Lemieux*

Author Affiliations

Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Laval University, Québec, Canada

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Nutrition Journal 2004, 3:13  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-13

Published: 13 September 2004

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the validity (study 1) and the reproducibility (study 2) of an interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).

Method

The FFQ was designed at Laval University and contains 91 items and 33 subquestions. Study 1: The FFQ was compared against a 3-day food record (2 week-days and 1 weekend-day), at week 0, 6 and 12 of a nutritional intervention. Study 2: In order to evaluate the reproducibility of the FFQ, 2 registered dietitians administered the FFQ 4-weeks apart among subjects who were not part of the nutritional intervention.

Results

Study 1: Mean values for intake of most nutrients assessed by the FFQ and by the 3-day food record were not statistically different. Energy-adjusted correlation coefficients for major macronutrients ranged from 0.36 for proteins to 0.60 for carbohydrates (p ≤ 0.01). Agreement analysis revealed that on average, 35% of the subjects were classified in the same quartile when nutrients were assessed by either the 3-day food record or the FFQ. Study 2: Significant associations were observed between dietary measurements derived from the two FFQs administered 4 weeks apart. Correlation coefficients for the reproducibility of macronutrients ranged from 0.66 for carbohydrates to 0.83 for lipids after energy adjustment. On average, 46% of the subjects were classified in the same quartile when nutrient intakes were assessed by either FFQ.

Conclusion

These data indicated that the FFQ developed has a good validity and is reproducible.

Keywords:
Food frequency questionnaire; validation; reproducibility; 3-day food record