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Validation Information: FFQ (Italian adults)

Turconi 2010

Reliability and relative validity of a quantitative food-frequency questionnaire for use amongst adults in Italian population food-frequency questionnaire for use among adults in Italian population

Our objective was to assess the reliability and relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) among adult people. In a cross-sectional study carried out in northern Italy, 112 adults were recruited. A total of 189 food and drink items were selected according to those typically consumed by Italians. FFQ reliability was assessed by two repeated administrations at 6 weeks.

The FFQ was validated using four 24-h recalls repeated in the same period of time. For the validation study, classification into quartiles from the two methods and Bland–Altman plot were also performed. The reliability study showed a good correlation between the two methods. Bland–Altman plots showed that the two methods are very likely to agree for individual energy and macronutrient intakes. The reliability and relative validity of this FFQ was good, supporting its use in assessing dietary intakes of Italians in nutritional surveillance programs and in epidemiological dietary surveys.

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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
Portion sizes quantified using a colour food photography atlas using small, medium and large examples
Reporting Method info
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not reported
Administration Method info
Interviewer administerd

Study Information

Study Location
Pavia, North Italy
Associated Nutrient Database
Italian Food Composition Tables published by the Eurpoean Institute of Oncology
Comparator Validated Against
24hr Recall


Sample Size
Adults (20-60 years)
Age of Population

Mean: 28 years; Range: 20-60 years

Other Notable Characteristics
Subjects were students, staff and general public members aged 20-60, recruited from a university café in Italy of normal BMI and no health issues. Results are not split into gender

Total number of nutrients validated: 8 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: 3
  • Micronutrients: 5
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 (interview by dietitian) Adults (20-60 years) Both Energy (kcal) 20 120 0.93 (P) -219 259
Protein (g) 0.9 6 0.75 (P) -10.5 12.3
Fat (g) 1.1 6 0.85 (P) -11 13.2
Carbohydrates (g) 1.9 24 0.80 (P) -46.8 50.6
Calcium (mg) 13 117 0.78 (P) -221.3 247.3
Iron (mg) 2 3 0.76 (P) -3.2 7.2
Zinc (mg) 1 2 0.70 (P) -3.6 5.6
Retinol (µg) 23 85 0.78 (P) -148 194
Vitamin C (mg) 7 12 0.74 (P) -16.4 30.4

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.

Turconi G, Bazzano R, Roggi C & Hellas C. Reliability and relative validity of a quantitative food frequency questionnaire for use amongst adults in Italian population.(2010) International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 1-17