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Validation Information: FFQ (Pregnant Women)

Barbieri 2015

Validation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess food group intake by pregnant women

Background: Previous studies conducted among pregnant women to test the accuracy of food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) for estimating food group intake were restricted to one specific trimester of pregnancy. The present study aimed to validate a FFQ for assessing the intake of food groups throughout pregnancy.

Methods: In total, 75 adult pregnant Brazilian women were evaluated. Dietary intake was assessed by the FFQ (completed at the third trimester of pregnancy) and by three 24-h dietary recalls; one in each trimester of pregnancy.

Results: The food items were classified into 20 groups. Adequate deatenuatted Pearson correlation coefficients (>0.4) were observed for the intake of bread/cake, butter/margarine; milk/dairy products; soft drinks/artificial juices; coffee/tea; and pastries/sandwiches. The FFQ served poorly for estimating fruit and vegetable intake. A high percentage (>70%) of women were classified into the same or adjacent quartiles for estimates of cookies/ crackers, butter/margarine, milk/dairy products, fruit juices, soft drinks/artificial juices, coffee/tea, roots, rice, beans, meat/chicken/sausages, fried foods, fish, eggs, sweets/sugars, and pastries/sandwiches. Nevertheless, the agreement of joint classification between the dietary methods was mostly into adjacent quartiles, rather than in the same quartile, and low values of kappa were found.

Conclusions: The data reported in the present study suggest that the FFQ might not be an appropriate dietary method for evaluating food group intake throughout pregnancy. The joint classification between methods by categories of intake of food groups was mostly into adjacent quartiles, which could lead to attenuated associations when investigating diet–disease relationships during pregnancy.

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Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Food Groups
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Timeframe Tool Measures info
7 months
Portion Size Measures info
Portion size was determined using 4 options for selection
Reporting Method info
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not reported
Administration Method info
Self administered

Study Information

Study Location
Associated Nutrient Database
Comparator Validated Against
24hr Recall


Sample Size
75 (Female)
Age of Population

Mean (SD): 24 (4.5)

Female Only
Other Notable Characteristics
Subjects were pregnant women attending public health clinics in Ribeirao, Brazil from a range of educational and socio-economic backgrounds

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 Female Only Fruit 123 (Median) 0.28 (P) 0.12
Vegetables 66.4 (Median) 0.005 (P) 0.20

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.

Barbieri P, Crivellenti L.C, Nishimura R.Y & Sartorelli, D. D. (2015). Validation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess food group intake by pregnant women. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 28 (supp 1) 38-44