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Validation of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire used among 2-year-old Norwegian children

  • LF Andersen (a1) (a2), B Lande (a1) (a3), K Trygg (a1) and G Hay (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/PHN2004613
  • Published online: 01 January 2007
Abstract
AbstractObjectives:

An adequate diet is of profound importance in infancy and early childhood. To ensure an optimal diet, knowledge about actual intake must be obtained. The aims of this study were to assess the validity of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire (SFFQ) applied in a large nation-wide survey among 2-year-old children and to examine the validity of the SFFQ in relation to different background parameters.

Design:

The SFFQ was administered to the parents close to the child's second birthday, and one to two weeks later they started to weigh and record the child's diet for 7 days.

Subjects:

One-hundred and eighty-seven families with a 2-year-old child completed both methods.

Results:

There were no differences between the intakes of protein, saturated fatty acids, total carbohydrates and calcium estimated from the two methods. The average intake of all micronutrients, except for calcium, was overestimated by the SFFQ. Bland–Altman plots showed a systematic increase in difference between the two methods with increasing intake for most nutrients. Spearman correlation coefficients between methods for nutrient intakes ranged from 0.26 to 0.50, the median correlation was 0.38. The correlations increased when estimates were adjusted for energy intake, the median correlation being 0.52. Differences in observed validity were found according to the number of siblings.

Conclusions:

This study indicates that the SFFQ may be a valuable tool for measuring average intakes of energy, macronutrients and several food items among a 2-year-old population in Norway. The ability of the questionnaire to rank children according to intakes of nutrients and food items was rather low.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email andersen@epi.umn.edu
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3LF Andersen , K Solvoll , L Johansson , I Salminen , A Aro , CA Drevon . Evaluation of a food frequency questionnaire with weighed records, fatty acids, and alpha-tocopherol in adipose tissue and serum. American Journal of Epidemiology 1999; 150: 7587.

6LF Andersen , B Lande , GH Arsky , K Trygg . Validation of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire used among 12-months old Norwegian infants. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003; 57: 881–8.

7MK Serdula , MP Alexander , KS Scanlon , BA Bowman . What are preschool children eating? A review of dietary assessment. Annual Review of Nutrition 2001; 21: 476–98.

8RE Blum , EK Wei , HR Rockett , JD Langeliers , J Leppert , JD Gardner , Validation of a food frequency questionnaire in Native American and Caucasian children 1 to 5 years of age. Maternal and Child Health Journal 1999; 3: 167–73.

9RJ Iannotti , AE Zuckerman , EM Blyer RW O'Brien , J Finn , DM Spillman . Comparison of dietary intake methods with young children. Psychological Reports 1994; 74: 883–9.

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