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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Mar;60(3):408-15.

Validity of a questionnaire to assess fruit and vegetable intake in adults.

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  • 1Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali-University Hospital & Department of Food Science, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.



To validate a method for assessing fruit and vegetable intake among adults in a population of low intake. The method assesses mean intake and ranks individuals by their usual intake.


A precoded fruit and vegetable Questionnaire included a 24-h recall and a food frequency. The participants filled in the Questionnaire, a week later they started a 7-day food record, 1-day weighed record and 6 days using household measures.


Following advertisements 40 participants were recruited, 36 returned food records(mean age=37 years).


No difference was observed between the average intake yielded by the 24-h recall and that from the 1-day weighed food record of fruits or vegetables. Correlation coefficients between results from the food frequency questionnaire and the 7-day food records were 0.45 (P=0.007) for vegetables, 0.63 (P<0.001) for fruits and 0.73 (P<0.001) for fruits and vegetables combined. Cross-classification into quartiles showed that the proportion of participants in the same or the adjacent quartile of the intake distribution were 94% for fruit intake and 80% for vegetable intake. Registered intake of fruits and vegetables was higher the first 4 days of the record than the last 3 days (P=0.002). The 4-day food record correlated with the food frequency questionnaire in similar manner as the 7-day record.


The present study indicates that the precoded 24-h recall may be valuable tool for measuring average intake of fruits and vegetables among adults in a population of low intake. Moreover, the food frequency questionnaire was valid for ranking individuals according to their usual intake. A 4-day food record might be sufficient when validating food frequency questionnaires for fruits and vegetables.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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