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Validation Information: FFQ (6 months old)
What do babies eat? Evaluation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess the diets of infants aged 6 months
Objective: To evaluate the relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for assessing nutrient intakes in 6-month-old infants.
Design and setting: The FFQ was developed to assess the diets of infants born to women in the Southampton Women's Survey (SWS), a population-based survey of young women and their offspring. The energy and nutrient intakes obtained from an interviewer-administered FFQ were compared with those obtained from a 4-day weighed diary.
Subjects and methods: A sub-sample of 50 infants aged 6 months from the SWS had their diets assessed by both methods. The FFQ recorded the frequencies and amounts of milks, baby foods, regular foods and drinks consumed by the infants over the previous seven days. The diaries recorded the weights of all foods and drinks consumed by the infants on four separate days within 15 days following FFQ completion.
Results: Spearman rank correlation coefficients for intakes of energy, macronutrients and 18 micronutrients, determined by the two methods, ranged from r = 0.39 to 0.86; adjustment for energy intake tended to increase the correlation coefficients, range ra= 0.55 to 0.89. Bland-Altman statistics showed that mean differences between methods were in the range of -12.5% to +12.5% except for vitamin B12 (-18.9 %).
Conclusion: Although there were differences in absolute energy and nutrient intakes between methods, Spearman rank correlation coefficients indicated reasonable agreement in the ranking of intakes. The interviewer-administered FFQ is a useful tool for assessing energy and nutrient intakes of healthy infants aged about 6 months.
Total number of nutrients validated: 23
Not all of the nutrients validated in the validation studies are included in the table below, as statistical data was only selected to be displayed for a number of nutrients, this included:
- Saturated Fat
- Mono-unsaturated Fat
- Poly-unsaturated Fat
- Non‐starch polysaccharides(NSP)
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Fruit & Vegetables
- Urinary Nitrogen
To find information on the other validated nutrients please read the validation study.
- Macronutrients: 4
- Micronutrients: 18
|Comparator||Lifestage||Sex||Nutrient Measured||Mean Difference||Standard Deviation||Correlation Coefficient||Cohen's Kappa Coefficient||Percentage Agreement||Percentage Agreement Categories||Lower Limits of Agreement||Upper Limits of Agreement|
|Weighed Food Diary||Infants and toddlers||Both||Energy (kcal)||6%||0.41 (S)||-40%||52%|
|Energy (kJ)||6%||0.41 (S)||-40%||52%|
|Protein (g)||1%||0.51 (S)||-48%||49%|
|Fat (g)||4%||0.39 (S)||-47%||54%|
|Carbohydrates (g)||9%||0.51 (S)||-37%||55%|
|Total Sugars (g)||9%||0.55 (S)||-36%||54%|
|Sodium (mg)||-12.2%||0.60 (S)||-87%||62%|
|Calcium (mg)||3.4%||0.62 (S)||-58%||65%|
|Iron (mg)||2%||0.75 (S)||-59%||63%|
|Zinc (mg)||7.4%||0.69 (S)||-44%||59%|
|Retinol (µg)||10%||0.44 (S)||-49%||69%|
|Folic Acid (µg)||9.1%||0.68 (S)||-42%||60%|
|Vitamin B12 (µg)||-18.9%||0.75 (S)||-135%||97%|
|Vitamin C (mg)||11.2%||0.67 (S)||-45%||67%|
Some results have been calculated using statistical techniques based on the published data.
For further information on statistical terms click on Statistical tests used in validation studies
All correlations coefficients in the table are unadjusted unless stated otherwise. For adjusted correlation coefficients and other statistical methods used in the study e.g. paired t-tests, please read the validation articles.
- # Adjusted
- † Energy adjusted.
- ‡ For loge-transformed, energy-adjusted nutrient intakes.
- ^ Adjacent included.
- ᵟ Participants provided identical responses.
- (w) = Weighted.
Marriott LD, Robinson SM, Poole J, Borland SE, Godfrey KM, Law CM, Inskip HM. What do babies eat? Evaluation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess the diets of infants aged 6 months. Public health nutrition. 2008 Jul 1;11(07):751-6.