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Prev Med. 1997 Nov-Dec;26(6):808-16.

Validation of a youth/adolescent food frequency questionnaire.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



To address limited longitudinal nutrition data on children and adolescents, a self-administered food frequency questionnaire was designed for older children and adolescents. Initially, the Youth/Adolescent Questionnaire (YAQ) was developed and demonstrated to be reproducible. This study was conducted to evaluate its validity.


The form was administered twice to a sample of 261 youths (ages 9 to 18) at an approximate interval of 1 year (1993-1994), and three 24-hr dietary recalls were collected during this period. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated on nutrient data.


Validity was first evaluated by comparing the average of the three 24-hr recalls to the average of the two YAQs. Similar mean nutrients were found by both methods. Correlation coefficients between the mean energy-adjusted nutrients computed by the two methods ranged from 0.21 for sodium to 0.58 for folate. After correction for within-person error, the average correlation coefficient was 0.54, similar to that found among adults.


A simple self-administered questionnaire completed by older children and adolescents can provide nutritional information about this age group.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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