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Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jul;70(1):28-36.

Food preferences and reported frequencies of food consumption as predictors of current diet in young women.

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Nutritional Sciences Program, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.



Self-reported food preferences and frequencies of food consumption have served as proxy measures of the current diet in consumer research and in nutritional epidemiology studies, respectively.


The objective was to determine whether food preferences and food-frequency scores are associated variables that are predictive of nutrient intakes.


College-age women (n = 87) completed a 98-item food-frequency questionnaire and rated preferences for many of the same foods on a 9-point category scale. Estimated intakes of fat, fiber, and vitamin C were obtained by using 3-d food records.


For virtually all item pairs tested, food preferences and reported frequencies of consumption of the same foods were significantly correlated with each other. The median Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.40 (range: -0.04 to 0.62). Correlations improved when foods were aggregated into factor-based food groups. The slope of the relation between food preferences and frequency of consumption varied with food category. Both food preferences and food frequencies predicted dietary outcomes. Fat consumption was predicted equally well by either approach in a multiple regression model. Intakes of fiber and vitamin C were better predicted by food-frequency scores than by stated preferences for vegetables and fruit.


Reported frequencies of food consumption, the core of the food-frequency approach, were associated with food likes and dislikes. Food preferences were a predictor of dietary intakes and may provide an alternative to the food-frequency approach for dietary intake assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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