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Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(5):603-11. doi: 10.1080/01635580802065294.

Relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire used to assess food intake during a dietary intervention study.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.


To develop a cost-effective alternative for evaluating dietary intake in large-scale intervention trials of cancer and cardiovascular disease outcomes, we designed and validated a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). We collected 6 to 8 of the 24-hr dietary recalls from 87 adults (ages 30-72 yr) who were randomly assigned to a walnut-supplemented diet or a control diet in a 6-mo dietary intervention trial. Relative validity of a 171-item FFQ in assessing intake of selected foods and the prescribed intervention (intake > or =25 g/day or intake < 2 g of walnuts) was determined using 24-h dietary recalls as the reference. De-attenuated correlations between FFQ and dietary recalls were .82 for walnuts, .80 for fruits, .79 for grains, .77 for vegetables, .63 for water, .44 for sweets, and .36 for dairy/eggs. High within-person variation did not allow de-attenuation for the remaining foods, but uncorrected correlations were high (> .7) for the beverage variables. The FFQ correctly classified 86 out of 87 subjects in the 2 prescribed intervention groups. The FFQ can provide an accurate measure of a food-based intervention (i.e., walnut supplementation) in a trial setting and can also accurately estimate a number of other food groups consumed during the trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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