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Validation Information: Diet History Interview

Jackson 1990

Comparison of diet history interview and self completed questionnaire in assessment of diet in an elderly population

Study objective: The aim of the study was to determine the reliability of a diet history interview with a short self completed questionnaire ofa basic design used in other studies in the United Kingdom.

Design: The study used a cohort of elderly people randomly divided into two groups after stratification for sex. Members of one group completed the questionnaire first and were interviewed later; the procedure was reversed for the other group.

Setting: Participants were drawn from registers of two general practitioners at a Nottingham health centre.

Participants: All non-Asian men aged 65-74 years and women aged 59-65 years registered with the practices were identified (n = 152); 20 could not be traced and two were too ill, leaving 130 possible participants. Of these, 80 took part in the study.

Measurements and results: Ranking of subjects in terms ofestimated fat, fibre, and calcium intakes was compared in the history interview and in the self completed questionnaire. Agreement in tertile ranking was 58% for fibre, 53% for fat, and 49% for calcium. Corresponding correlation coefficients for estimated nutrient intakes were 0.49, 0.45, and 0.41 respectively. Thedifferences in nutrient intakes estimated by the two methods were not affected by age, sex, marital status, or smoking patterns. Subjects in the group asked to complete the questionnaire before being interviewed showed greater percentage concordance for tertile ranking, but this reached significance only for fat intake.

Conclusions: The two methods provide estimates of intakes similar to those found in other studies in the United Kingdom, and the agreement between them in terms of tertile ranking is also similar to previous studies. The incidence of gross misclassification was low.

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Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Macronutrient, Micronutrient
Tool Type
Diet History
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 Year
Portion Size Measures info
Portion sizes were recorded into different sections according to the type of food. These are available in the publication.
Reporting Method info
Usual; Retrospective
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not Reported
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Nottingham, England
Associated Nutrient Database
McCance & Widdowson's The Composition of Foods, 4th edition
Comparator Validated Against
Food Frequency Questionnaire


Sample Size
Age of Population

Range: 65-74 years (Male); 59-65 years (Female)

Other Notable Characteristics
The study was carried out in an area of inner city deprivation. All subjects with an Asian surname were excluded due to difference in diets and the possible language difficulties.

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.

  • Macronutrients: 2
  • Micronutrients: 1
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
Food Frequency Questionnaire Elderly Both Fat (g) 9 (Median) 0.45 (S) 0.40 (w) 52.5 3
Calcium (mg) -16 226.5 0.42 (P) 0.42 (w) 48.8 3 -468.9 436.9

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.

Jackson N, Little J, Wilson AD. Comparison of diet history interview and self completed questionnaire in assessment of diet in an elderly population. Journal of epidemiology and community health. 1990 Jun 1;44(2):162-9.