Development and validation of food frequency questionnaire for children age 5-6 using multiple methods

Vered Kaufman-Shriqui, A. Entin, Drora Fraser, Lena Novack, Natalya Bilenko, H. Vardi, Danit Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The ability to determine the relationship between diet and health outcomes in children requires reproducible and validated long-term dietary assessment tools such as food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).
Objective: To test the reproducibility and relative validity of a FFQ for young children using 24-hour food recalls (24HRs), anthropometric measurements, and a comprehensive feeding practices questionnaire (CFPQ).
Methods: Children (aged 5-6) and their mothers were recruited during one school-year (2008) from preschools. Children's anthropometric measurements were obtained. Mothers provided during a personal interview on three occasions a 110-item semiquantitative FFQ, 24HRs and CFPQ. Pearson-correlation coefficients were calculated between the results of the FFQ and 3*24HR. Validity coefficients between the FFQ and the different measurements were calculated. Scores of the 12 factors of the CFPQ were calculated and related to dietary intake.

Results: Sixty-six healthy children (47% boys) were recruited. Pearson's correlations between the average of the FFQs and 3*24HRs ranged from 0.3-0.6 (P<0.05). The highest correlation coefficients were 0.59 for total fat intake and 0.56 for energy. Dietary intake of energy and carbohydrates differed significantly (P=0.05, 0.001 respectively) across the three BMI z-score levels (normal-weight, overweight, obese) and the three waist circumference tertiles (0.019, 0.006 respectively). Obesogenic factors from the CFPQ correlated with consumption of empty calories like sweets, snacks, junk foods and sweet drinks.
Conclusions: The modified FFQ is a relatively valid instrument to estimate mean energy intake in preschool children. The questionnaire performs reasonably well to rank children with respect to macronutrients intake as well as obesogenic food groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Child Health and Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


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