Log in Register

Tool Library Tool Information Best Practice Guidelines – Evaluation Checklist (opens new tab)

Validation Information: FFQ (India)

Vijay 2020

The Evaluation and Use of a Food Frequency Questionnaire Among the Population in Trivandrum, South Kerala, India

Dietary record tools such as food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and food diaries (FD) are the most commonly used choices for assessing dietary intakes in most large-scale epidemiological studies. The authors developed a self-administered 360-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to assess dietary intakes amongst a population-based cohort in South Kerala. In the validation study (n = 460), the data were collected using FFQs that were administered on three different occasions which were then compared to 7-day food records. The intake of foods and nutrients was higher as determined by the FFQ than that assessed using food records. Spearman correlations for macro-nutrients ranged from 0.72 for protein to 0.61 for carbohydrates and for micronutrients, from 0.71 for vitamin B6 to 0.34 for magnesium. The correlation was improved with energy-adjusted nutrient intakes. On average, the exact agreement for the macronutrients ranged from 48.2% to 57.1%, and that for micronutrients ranged from 66.7% to 41.9%, with the median percentage of 49.58%. The authors conclude that the FFQ has an acceptable reproducibility, however, there was a systematic trend towards higher estimates with the FFQ for most nutrients compared to the FD records.

Web Link

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
Prior to completion of the FFQs, the participants underwent training on portion size estimation wherein they were shown the standard measures of known weight for each food type and were asked to use similar household measures to help them estimate their portion size as a multiple of the standard measure.
Reporting Method info
Usual; Retrospective
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not Reported
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
South Kerala, India
Associated Nutrient Database
Indian Foods Database
Comparator Validated Against
Food Diary Estimated


Sample Size
Adults and Elderly
Age of Population

>18 years of age

Other Notable Characteristics
The study population comprised of individuals from rural and urban sectors of Trivandrum, South Kerala. Only one person per household was allowed to enroll in the study.

Total number of nutrients validated: 26 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: 5
  • Micronutrients: 21
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
7-day food diaries Adults and Elderly Both Energy (kcal) 655 771 0.653 (S) -887 2197
Protein (g) 20 26 0.729 (S) -31.6 71
Fat (g) 21 30 0.681 (S) -38 80
Carbohydrate (g) 97 125 0.610 (S) -153 348
Fibre (g) 3.9 2.8 0.659 (S) -1.684 9
Sodium (mg) 40 89 0.666 (S) -138 214
Calcium (mg) 148 2124 0.700 (S) -4100 4396
Iron (mg) 4.8 6.2 0.643 (S) -7.7 17
Zinc (mg) 1.9 2.5 0.513 (S) -3.2 7
Folic Acid (μg) 20 25 0.716 (S) -29 70
Vitamin C (mg) 24 51 0.495 (S) -78 126

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.

Vijay A, Mohan L, Taylor MA, Grove JI, Valdes AM, Aithal GP, et al. The Evaluation and Use of a Food Frequency Questionnaire Among the Population in Trivandrum, South Kerala, India. Nutrients. 2020;12(2):31.