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Calibration of the dietary questionnaire for the Canadian Study of Diet, Lifestyle and Health cohort

  • Meera G Jain (a1), Thomas E Rohan (a2), Colin L Soskolne (a3) and Nancy Kreiger (a4)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/PHN2002362
  • Published online: 01 February 2003
Abstract
AbstractObjective:

For proper interpretation of results from epidemiological studies that use food-frequency questionnaires (FFQs), it is necessary to know the relationship between reported intakes from the FFQ and true usual intake. In this paper, we report a calibration study conducted to investigate the performance of the FFQ used in a cohort study, the Canadian Study of Diet, Lifestyle and Health.

Methods:

Over a 1-year period, 151 men and 159 women completed a full set of questionnaires including a self-administered baseline FFQ, three 24-hour diet recalls administered by telephone, and a second FFQ self-administered subsequently. The association between the nutrient estimates derived from the FFQs and the diet recalls was evaluated by calculating deattenuated Pearson's correlation coefficients.

Results:

The FFQs estimated mean daily nutrient intakes higher than the diet recalls. When the log-transformed and energy-adjusted nutrient intakes from the average of three 24-hour recalls were compared against the baseline FFQ, the following deattenuated correlations were obtained in men and women, respectively: total energy 0.44 and 0.32, total fat 0.64 and 0.68, saturated fat 0.68 and 0.70, dietary fibre 0.65 and 0.44, vitamin E 0.32 and 0.37, vitamin C 0.40 and 0.37, β-carotene 0.34 and 0.29, alcohol 0.74 and 0.67, caffeine 0.81 and 0.76, with a median correlation of 0.49 and 0.53. Correlations between the second FFQ and diet recalls were similar. The correlations between the two FFQs as a test of reliability had a median value 0.64 for men and 0.63 for women for selected nutrients.

Conclusions:

The study suggests that the FFQ method gives acceptable levels of nutrients or food component estimates, as assessed by this calibration study against diet recalls, when limited to energy-adjusted and deattenuated values.

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*Corresponding author: Email meera.jain@utoronto.ca
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