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Validation of a food-frequency questionnaire for use in pregnancy

  • Theodora Mouratidou (a1), Fiona Ford (a1) and Robert B Fraser (a1)
Abstract
Objectives

As a part of an ongoing project to develop a nutritional screening tool, we evaluated the performance of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in terms of validity in a Sheffield Caucasian pregnant population using two different statistical approaches – the correlation coefficient and the limits of agreement (LOA). The FFQ was designed specifically for pregnant women and previously used in a large-scale study.

Design

A validation study.

Setting

A community-based field study of a general population of pregnant women booked for their first antenatal appointment at the Jessop Wing, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

Subjects

One hundred and twenty-three women of different socio-economic status, aged between 17 and 43 years, provided complete dietary data.

Results

The validity of the FFQ was tested against a series of two 24-hour recalls. As expected, the intakes of all examined nutrients, except for iodine, carotene, vitamin E, biotin, vitamin C and alcohol, were higher when determined by the FFQ than when determined by 24-hour recall. Pearson's correlation coefficient between the two methods ranged from 0.19 (added sugar, zinc) to 0.47 (Englyst fibre). The LOA were broader for some of the nutrients, e.g. protein, Southgate fibre and alcohol, and an increasing lack of agreement between the two methods was identified with higher dietary intakes.

Conclusions

The FFQ gave useful estimates of the nutrient intakes of Caucasian pregnant women and appears to be a valid tool for categorising pregnant women according to dietary intake. The FFQ performed well for most nutrients and had acceptable agreement with the 24-hour recall.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email t.mouratidou@sheffield.ac.uk
References
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
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