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Validation Information: Meal-Q FFQ (Energy & macronutrient)

Christensen 2013

Two New Meal- and Web-Based Interactive Food Frequency Questionnaires: Validation of Energy and Macronutrient Intake Questionnaires: Validation of Energy and Macronutrient Intake

Background: Meal-Q and its shorter version, MiniMeal-Q, are 2 new Web-based food frequency questionnaires. Their meal-based and interactive format was designed to promote ease of use and to minimize answering time, desirable improvements in large epidemiological studies.

Objective: We evaluated the validity of energy and macronutrient intake assessed with Meal-Q and MiniMeal-Q as well as the reproducibility of Meal-Q.

Methods: Healthy volunteers aged 20-63 years recruited from Stockholm County filled out the 174-item Meal-Q. The questionnaire was compared to 7-day weighed food records (WFR; n=163), for energy and macronutrient intake, and to doubly labeled water (DLW; n=39), for total energy expenditure. In addition, the 126-item MiniMeal-Q was evaluated in a simulated validation using truncated Meal-Q data. We also assessed the answering time and ease of use of both questionnaires.

Results: Bland-Altman plots showed a varying bias within the intake range for all validity comparisons. Cross-classification of quartiles placed 70%-86% in the same/adjacent quartile with WFR and 77% with DLW. Deattenuated and energy-adjusted Pearson correlation coefficients with the WFR ranged from r=0.33-0.74 for macronutrients and was r=0.18 for energy. Correlations with DLW were r=0.42 for Meal-Q and r=0.38 for MiniMeal-Q. Intraclass correlations for Meal-Q ranged from r=0.57-0.90. Median answering time was 17 minutes for Meal-Q and 7 minutes for MiniMeal-Q, and participants rated both questionnaires

as easy to use.

Conclusions: Meal-Q and MiniMeal-Q are easy to use and have short answering times. The ranking agreement is good for most of the nutrients for both questionnaires and Meal-Q shows fair reproducibility.

Web Link

Validation Information

Author
Christensen
Year of Publication
2013

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Energy, Macronutrient
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Timeframe Tool Measures info
Week/Month
Portion Size Measures info
Portion sizes were quantified using photographs of particular food items with standard portion sizes based on the National Food Agency being used for other food items.
Reporting Method info
Retrospective: Usual
Format info
Online
Supplements Measured
Excluded
Administration Method info
Self-administered

Study Information

Study Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Associated Nutrient Database
National database on nutrient content published by the Swedish National Food Agency
Comparator Validated Against
Weighed Food Diary

Participants

Sample Size
167 (35 male, 132 female)
Lifestage
Adults
Age of Population

Range: 20-63 years

Sex
Both
Other Notable Characteristics
Subjects were recruited through the VALMA study and from three universities in Stockholm, Sweden.

Total number of nutrients validated: 6 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: 6
  • 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
Weighed Food Diary Adults Both Energy (kcal) -359 0.16 (P) -1960 1272
Energy (kJ) -1500 0.16 (P) -8200 5323
Protein (g) -12 0.22 (P) -55 31
Total fat (g) -23 0.06 (P) -75 28
SFA (g) -14 0.15 (P) -48 20
MUFA (g) -8.7 0.13 (P) -25 7.4
PUFA (g) -0.4 0.23 (P) -12 11
Carbohydrates (g) -19 0.54 (P) -128 90

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.

Christensen SE, Moller E, Bonn SE, Ploner A, Wright A, Sjolander A, Balter O, Lissner L & Balter K. (2013) Two New Meal- and Web-Based Interactive Food Frequency Questionnaires: Validation of Energy and Macronutrient Intake. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15 (6) e109