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Matern Child Health J. 1999 Sep;3(3):167-72.

Validation of a food frequency questionnaire in Native American and Caucasian children 1 to 5 years of age.

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Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To assess the validity of the Harvard Service Food Frequency Questionnaire (HFFQ) in the diet assessment of Native American and Caucasian children 1 to 5 years of age participating in the North Dakota WIC program.


The 84-item HFFQ was administered twice to the parent or guardian of 131 Native American and 102 Caucasian children ages 1 to 5 years (total n = 233), first at the child's routine WIC visit and then following the completion of three 24-hr dietary recalls taken over approximately 1 month. Average nutrient intakes from the three 24-hr dietary recalls were compared to average nutrient intakes from the HFFQs by calculating Pearson correlation coefficients and adjusting for energy intake and within person variation.


Correlation coefficients ranged from 0.26 for dietary fiber to 0.63 for magnesium. The average correlation was 0.52, similar to that found in validation studies among adolescents and adults. The following nutrients had correlations of 0.50 or greater: carbohydrate, sucrose, total fat, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and iron.


The HFFQ is a simple self-administered questionnaire completed by the child's parent or guardian and is useful in assessing the diets of Native American and Caucasian children. It may also provide important nutritional information about this age group for future program planning, research, education, and intervention purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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