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Validation Information: Short Food Group Questionnaire

Roddam 2005

Reproducibility of a short semi-quantitative food group questionnaire and its performance in estimating nutrient intake compared with a 7-day diet diary in the Million Women Study

Objectives: To assess the short- and long-term reproducibility of a short food group questionnaire, and to compare its performance for estimating nutrient intakes in comparison with a 7-day diet diary.

Design: Participants for the reproducibility study completed the food group questionnaire at two time points, up to 2 years apart. Participants for the performance study completed both the food group questionnaire and a 7-day diet diary a few months apart. Reproducibility was assessed by kappa statistics and percentage change between the two questionnaires; performance was assessed by kappa statistics, rank correlations and percentages of participants classified into the same and opposite thirds of intake.

Setting: A random sample of participants in the Million Women Study, a populationbased prospective study in the UK.

Subjects: In total, 12 221 women aged 50-64 years.

Results: In the reproducibility study, 75% of the food group items showed at least moderate agreement for all four time-point comparisons. Items showing fair agreement or worse tended to be those where few respondents reported eating them more than once a week, those consumed in small amounts and those relating to types of fat consumed. Compared with the diet diary, the food group questionnaire showed consistently reasonable performance for the nutrients carbohydrate, saturated fat, cholesterol, total sugars, alcohol, fibre, calcium, riboflavin, folate and vitamin C.

Conclusions: The short food group questionnaire used in this study has been shown to be reproducible over time and to perform reasonably well for the assessment of a number of dietary nutrients.

Web Link

Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Full Nutrient, Food Groups
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 Week
Portion Size Measures info
Standard portion sizes
Reporting Method info
Usual; Retrospective
Format info
Supplements Measured
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Associated Nutrient Database
McCance & Widdowson's The Composition of Foods, 5th edition and supplements
Comparator Validated Against
Food Diary Estimated, Weighed Food Diary


Sample Size
Age of Population

Range: 50-64 years

Mean(SE): 56(0.03) years

Female Only
Other Notable Characteristics
Participants were part of the Million Women Study

Total number of nutrients validated: 22 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: 9
  • Micronutrients: 12
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/Estimated Food Diary Adults Female Only Energy (kcal) 136 (Median) 0.29 (P) 0.22 46 3
Protein (g) -1 (Median) 0.36 (P) 0.15 (w) 46 3
Fat (g) 17 (Median) 0.34 (P) 0.39 (w) 47 3
Saturated Fat (g) 0 (Median) 0.50 (P) 0.39 (w) 47 3
MUFA (g) 10 (Median) 0.31 (P) 0.21 (w) 44 3
PUFA (g) 5 (Median) 0.18 (P) 0.17 (w) 43 3
Carbohydrates (g) -8 (Median) 0.64 (P) 0.44 (w) 48 3
Total Sugars (g) -3 (Median) 0.55 (P) 0.35 (w) 53 3
Calcium (mg) -3 (Median) 0.58 (P) 0.41 (w) 56 3
Retinol (µg) 45 (Median) 0.42 (P) 0.21 (w) 45 3
Folate (µg) -21 (Median) 0.50 (P) 0.38 (w) 47 3
Vitamin B12 (µg) 1 (Median) 0.34 (P) 0.15 (w) 44 3
Vitamin C (mg) -10 (Median) 0.61 (P) 0.43 (w) 54 3

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.

Roddam AW, Spencer E, Banks E, Beral V, Reeves G, Appleby P, et al. Reproducibility of a short semi-quantitative food group questionnaire and its performance in estimating nutrient intake compared with a 7-day diet diary in the Million Women Study. Public health nutrition. 2005 Apr 1;8(02):201-13.