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Validation Information: FFQ (short NZ)

Sam 2020

Relative Validity and Reproducibility of a Short Food Frequency Questionnaire to Assess Nutrient Intakes of New Zealand Adults

There is no recent validated short food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for use in New Zealand (NZ) adults. This study aimed to evaluate the relative validity and reproducibility of a short FFQ in free-living NZ adults aged 30–59 years. A 57-item, semi-quantitative FFQ was developed and pre-tested. During a 12-month study period the FFQ was administrated twice with a 9-month interval between administrations. Four two-day diet records were collected at months 0, 3, 6, and 9 and a blood sample was taken at month 9. Spearman correlations were used to evaluate the validity of the FFQ with the eight-day diet records and selected biomarkers. Cross-classification analysis and the Bland–Altman method were used to assess the agreement between the FFQ and the diet record. Reproducibility over nine months was assessed using intra-class correlations. A total of 132 males and females completed both FFQs, the eight-day diet record, and provided a blood sample. The highest energy-adjusted correlation coefficients were observed for alcohol (0.81), cholesterol (0.61), and carbohydrate (0.61), with the lowest for sodium (0.29), thiamin (0.33), and niacin equivalents (0.34). More than three quarters of the participants were correctly classified into the same or adjacent quartile for most nutrients, with a low proportion of participants being grossly misclassified (<10%). For most nutrients, the limits of agreement from the Bland–Altman analyses were between 50% and 250%. A positive correlation was observed between dietary intakes and plasma biomarkers for all selected nutrients. The FFQ showed moderate to good reproducibility, with almost all reliability coefficients ranging from 0.60 to 0.80. This short FFQ was shown to validly and reliably rank individuals by their habitual intake of most major nutrients, indicating that the FFQ will offer a time-efficient way to assess the nutrient intake of NZ adults in future research.

Web Link

Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Energy, Macronutrient, Micronutrient
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 Year
Portion Size Measures info
A standard portion size is provided
Reporting Method info
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not Included
Administration Method info
Self-administered (height and weight were measured by a trained research assistant using a standardised procedure)

Study Information

Study Location
New Zealand
Associated Nutrient Database
New Zealand food composition database (New Zealand FOODfiles, 7th Edition)
Comparator Validated Against
Biomarkers, Weighed Food Diary


Sample Size
Age of Population

Range:30-59 years

Other Notable Characteristics
Healthy (i.e., did not have a chronic disease), non-pregnant, and not on a diet

Total number of nutrients validated: 3 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: 12
  • Micronutrients: 17
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) 120 72 68 4 -24 264
Energy (kj) 500 300 68 4 -100 1100
Protein (g) 9.2 27 68 4 -45 63
Fat (g) 4.5 26 72 4 -48 57
MUFA (g) 2 9.5 73 4 -8 12
PUFA (g) 0.1 5.6 75 4 -11 12
Carbohydrates (g) 9 89 79 4 -169 187
Fibre (g) 2.5 10 79 4 -18 23
Sodium (mg) -187 905 76 4 -1997 1623
Calcium (mg) 209 219 81 4 -228 646
Iron (mg) -2.7 6 70 4 -15 9
Zinc (mg) 1.3 3.5 78 4 -6 8
Vitamin A (μg) 15 637 76 4 -1259 1286
Folate (μg) 75 225 77 4 -375 525
Vitamin B12 (μg) 0.3 2.7 82 4 -5 6
Vitamin C 0.30 (S)
Vitamin C (mg) 6 57 76 4 -108 120

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.

Sam CHY, Skidmore P, Skeaff S, Wall C, Bradbury KE, Parackal S. Relative Validity and Reproducibility of a Short FoodFrequency Questionnaire to Assess Nutrient Intakesof New Zealand Adults. Nutrients. 2020;12(3):27.