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Validation Information: Semiquantitative Food Diary (Germany)

Koebnick 2005

An easy-to-use semiquantitative food record validated for energy intake by using doubly labelled water technique

Background: Estimating dietary intake is important for both epidemiological and clinical studies, but often lacks accuracy.

Objective: To investigate the accuracy and validity of energy intake estimated by an easy-to-use semiquantitative food record (EISQFR) compared to total energy expenditure (TEE) estimated by doubly labelled water technique (EEDLW).

Design: TEE was measured in 29 nonobese subjects using the doubly labelled water method over a period of 14 days. Within this period, subjects reported their food consumption by a newly developed semiquantitative food record for 4 consecutive days. Energy intake was calculated using the German Food Code and Nutrition Data Base BLS II.3.

Results: A good correlation was observed between EISQFR and EEDLW (r=0.685, P<0.001). The mean difference between EISQFR and EEDLW was -1.7 ±2.6 MJ/day (-14 ±21%, P=0.002). An underestimation of EISQFR <10% was observed in nine subjects (31%), of 10-20% in six subjects (21%), and of >20% in nine subjects (31%). In five subjects (17%), an overestimation of EISQFR was observed.

Conclusions: The easy-to-use semiquantitative food record provided good estimates of EI in free-living and nonobese adults without prior detailed verbal instructions. The presented food record has limitations regarding accuracy at the individual level.

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Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Tool Type
Food Diary Estimated
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 day
Portion Size Measures info
Both typical household measures and their corresponding portion sizes (grams) were provided and standardised portion sizes were taken from available benchmarks. Photographs and detailed descriptions were also included to encourage accurate reporting.
Reporting Method info
Format info
Supplements Measured
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Associated Nutrient Database
German Food Code and Nutrient Database BLS II.3, a special database was also developed to reduce data entry effort
Comparator Validated Against
Doubly Labelled Water


Sample Size
13 (Male), 16 (Female), 29 (Both)
Age of Population

Range: 19-64 years; Mean (SD): 36.8 (11.8)

Male Only, Female Only, Both
Other Notable Characteristics
Subjects were healthy with a BMI < 30kg/m2, all subjects had no prior experience of dietary assessments tools.

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.

  • Energy
  • 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
Doubly Labelled Water Adults Male Only Energy (kcal) -382
Energy (kJ) -1600
Doubly Labelled Water Adults Female Only Energy (kcal) -406
Energy (kJ) -1700
Doubly Labelled Water Adults Both Energy (kcal) -406 0.69 (P) N/C N/C
Energy (kJ) -1700 0.69 (P) N/C N/C

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.

Koebnick C, Wagner K, Thielecke F, Dieter G, Höhne A, Franke A, Garcia AL, Meyer H, Hoffmann I, Leitzmann P, Trippo U. An easy-to-use semiquantitative food record validated for energy intake by using doubly labelled water technique. European journal of clinical nutrition. 2005 Sep 1;59(9):989-95