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Validation Information: FFQ (Malaysian Adolescents)

Nurul-Fadhilih 2012

Validity and reproducibility of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for dietary assessment in Malay adolescents in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012. 21 (1) 97-103

Background: Food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) must be tailored to the target populations because dietary habits vary within the populations due to differences in cultural and lifestyles practices. Limited information is available to assess the validity of FFQ used among Malaysian adolescents.

Objective: To construct the validity and reproducibility of a newly developed FFQ in assessing habitual nutrients intake over the past year of 170 Malay adolescent boys and girls in Kelantan, Malaysia.

Methods: The FFQ that consisted of 124 food items was assessed, whereas three days of 24-hours dietary recalls (DR) was administered as the standard criteria method.

Results: Estimated mean intake for most nutrients assessed by the FFQ were higher as compared to the three DRs (p<0.05). Pearson correlation coefficients for energy-adjusted nutrients intake between both methods were ranged from 0.22 (zinc) to 0.68 (calcium) with a median r-value of 0.43. The cross classification of quartile analysis showed that most nutrients were classified into the same or adjacent quartiles (median=52.7%). For the reproducibility of FFQ, the correlation of nutrients ranged from 0.43 for carotene to 0.86 for total fat intake (median=0.67), after adjusting for total energy intake.

Conclusion: The newly developed dietary FFQ is a relatively good and valid tool in assessing habitual nutrients intake for the past year among Malay adolescents in Malaysia.

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Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Full Nutrient
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 year
Portion Size Measures info
Household measures / photographs used to help partipants quantify food items
Reporting Method info
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not reported
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Kelantan, Malaysia
Associated Nutrient Database
Nutrient Composition of Malaysian Foods used. Due to this database lacking availability to some nutrients, the USDA Food Composition database was used for some nutrients
Comparator Validated Against
24hr Recall


Sample Size
170 (Equal ratio of males and females, results not split into gender)
Age of Population
Not reported
Other Notable Characteristics
Participants were adolescents with an equal gender split randomly sampled from 2 secondary schools in Malaysia

Total number of nutrients validated: 23 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.

  • Energy
  • Macronutrients: 5
  • Micronutrients: 18
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 Adolescents Both Calcium (mg) 111 281.7 0.67 (P)
Iron (mg) 1 13 0.62 (P)

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.

Nurul-Fadhilah A, Sze Teo P & Huat Foo L. Validity and reproducibility of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for dietary assessment in Malay adolescents in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 21 (1) 97-103