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Validation Information: DEGS FFQ

Haftenberger 2010

Relative validation of a food frequency questionnaire for national health and nutrition monitoring

Background:Validation of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) is important as incorrect information may lead to biased associations. Therefore the relative validity of an FFQ developed for use in the German Health Examination Survey for Adults 2008-2011 (DEGS) was examined.

Methods:Cross-sectional comparisons of food consumption data from the FFQ and from two 24-hour recalls were made in a sample of 161 participants (aged 18 to 80 years) of an ongoing nationwide survey, the German National Nutrition Monitoring (NEMONIT). The data collection took place from November 2008 to April 2009.

Results:Spearman rank correlations between the FFQ and the 24-hour dietary recalls ranged from 0.15 for pizza to 0.80 for tea, with two third of the correlation coefficients exceeding 0.30. All correlation coefficients were statistically significant except those for pizza and cooked vegetables. The proportion of participants classified into the same or adjacent quartile of intake assessed by both methods varied between 68% for cooked vegetables and 94% for coffee. There were no statistically significant differences in food consumption estimates between both methods for 38% of the food groups. For the other food groups, the estimates of food consumption by the FFQ were not generally higher or lower than estimates from the 24-hour dietary recalls.

Conclusions:The FFQ appears to be reasonably valid in the assessment of food consumption of German adults. For some food groups, such as raw and cooked vegetables, relative risks estimates should be interpreted with caution because of the poor ranking agreement.

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Validation Information

Author
Haftenberger
Year of Publication
2010

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 predefined answer categories. Pictures are used to aid the estimation of portion size for 33 food items.
Reporting Method info
Usual; Retrospective
Format info
Paper
Supplements Measured
Not Included
Administration Method info
Self-administered

Study Information

Study Location
Berlin, Germany
Associated Nutrient Database
Not reported
Comparator Validated Against
24hr Recall

Participants

Sample Size
161
Lifestage
Adults, Elderly
Age of Population

Range: 18-79 years

Mean: 51 years

Sex
Both
Other Notable Characteristics
Participants were a part of the German National Nutrition Monitoring (NEMONIT).

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
24hr Recall Adults, Elderly Both Fruit (g) 73 280 0.51 (S) 0.34 (w) 40 4 -487 633
Vegetables (g) 0.17(w) 32 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.

Haftenberger M, Heuer T, Heidemann C, Kube F, Krems C, Mensink GB. Relative validation of a food frequency questionnaire for national health and nutrition monitoring. Nutrition journal. 2010;9:36.