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Validation Information: KiGGS FFQ "What do you eat"

Truthmann 2011

Relative validation of the KiGGS Food Frequency Questionnaire among adolescents in Germany

Background:The aim of this study was to determine the relative validity of the self-administered Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) "What do you eat?", which was used in the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS 2003-2006).

Methods:The validation was conducted in the EsKiMo Nutrition Module, a subsample of KiGGS. The study population included 1,213 adolescents aged between 12 and 17. A modified diet history interview DISHES (Dietary Interview Software for Health Examination Studies) was used as the reference method. In order to compare the food groups, the data assessed with both instruments were aggregated to 40 similar food groups. The statistical analysis included calculating and comparing Spearman's correlation coefficients, calculating the mean difference between both methods, and ranking participants (quartiles) according to food group consumption, including weighted kappa coefficients. Correlations were also evaluated for relative body weight and socioeconomic status subgroups.

Results:In the total study population the Spearman correlation coefficients ranged from 0.22 for pasta/rice to 0.69 for margarine; most values were 0.50 and higher. The mean difference ranged between 1.4% for milk and 100.3% for pasta/rice. The 2.5 percentiles and 97.5 percentiles indicated a wide range of differences. Classifications in the same and adjacent quartile varied between 70.1% for pasta/rice and 90.8% for coffee. For most groups, Cohen's weighted kappa showed values between 0.21 and 0.60. Only for white bread and pasta/rice were values less than 0.20. Most of the 40 food groups showed acceptable to good correlations in all investigated subgroups concerning age, sex, body weight and socio-economic status.

Conclusions:The KiGGS FFQ showed fair to moderate ranking validity except for pasta/rice and white bread. However, the ability to assess absolute intakes is limited. The correlation coefficients for most food items were similar for normal weight and overweight as well as for different socio-economic status groups. Overall, the results of the relative validity were comparable to FFQs from the current literature.

Web Link

Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Food Groups
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Timeframe Tool Measures info
4 Weeks
Portion Size Measures info
The portion size is given in five item-specific categories and images are used to aid estimation of serving sizes.
Reporting Method info
Usual; Retrospective
Format info
Supplements Measured
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Associated Nutrient Database
The German Food Code and Nutrient Database. BLS, Version II.3
Comparator Validated Against


Sample Size
Age of Population

Range: 12-17 years

Other Notable Characteristics
Participants were a part of the EsKiMo Study

Total number of nutrients validated: 0 info

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:

  • Energy
  • Fat
  • Saturated Fat
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Sugar
  • Non‐starch polysaccharides(NSP)
  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Retinol
  • Folate
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Urinary Nitrogen

To find information on the other validated nutrients please read the validation study.

  • Macronutrients: 0
  • Micronutrients: 0
Comparator Lifestage Sex Nutrient Measured info Mean Difference Standard Deviation info Correlation Coefficient info Cohen's Kappa Coefficient Percentage Agreement Percentage Agreement Categories info Lower Limits of Agreement Upper Limits of Agreement
Diet Histories Adolescents Both Fruit (g) 13 304 0.63 (S) 0.455 (w) 47.2 4
Vegetables (g) -37 158 0.44 (S) 0.30 (w) 38.9 4

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.

Truthmann J, Mensink GB, Richter A. Relative validation of the KiGGS Food Frequency Questionnaire among adolescents in Germany. Nutrition journal. 2011;10:133.