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Open Access Research

Relative validity of a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire designed for schoolchildren in western Greece

Maria Roumelioti* and Michalis Leotsinidis

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Public Health, Medical School, University of Patras, Patras, Greece

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Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:8  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-8

Published: 5 February 2009

Abstract

Background

The use of food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) has become increasingly important in epidemiologic studies. During the past few decades, a wide variety of nutritional studies have used the semiquantitative FFQ as a tool for assessing and evaluating dietary intake. One of the main concerns in a dietary analysis is the validity of the collected dietary data.

Methods

This paper discusses several methodological and statistical issues related to the validation of a semiquantitative FFQ. This questionnaire was used to assess the nutritional habits of schoolchildren in western Greece. For validation purposes, we selected 200 schoolchildren and contacted their respective parents. We evaluated the relative validity of 400 FFQs (200 children's FFQs and 200 parents' FFQs).

Results

The correlations between the children's and the parents' questionnaire responses showed that the questionnaire we designed was appropriate for fulfilling the purposes of our study and in ranking subjects according to food group intake.

Conclusion

Our study shows that the semiquantitative FFQ provides a reasonably reliable measure of dietary intake and corroborates the relative validity of our questionnaire.