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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015 Jan;28 Suppl 1:65-72. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12209. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Qualitative analysis of the contributions of nutritionists to the development of an online instrument for monitoring the food intake of schoolchildren.

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Graduate Program in Public Health, Center for Health Sciences at The Federal University of Santa, Santa Catarina, Brazil.



The Consumo Alimentar e Atividade Fisica de Escolares (CAAFE) questionnaire is an online research tool that has been developed to enable the self-report of physical activity and diet by Brazilian schoolchildren aged 7-10 years. Formative research was conducted with nutritionists during the development of the web-based questionnaire. The suggestions and insights obtained were used to design a tool to monitor schoolchildren's food consumption based on the concept of healthy and unhealthy food indicators. The present study aimed to report the focus group discussions conducted with nutritionists concerning the CAAFE questionnaire.


Focus group discussions were conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire, and these were then analysed thematically.


Twenty-four nutritionists participated (four focus groups; average per group: six people); the majority (n = 22) had experience with 7-10-year-old children. Four themes emerged: (i) healthy and unhealthy food indicators; (ii) suggestions for the online instrument; (iii) potential applications; and (iv) challenges for its construction.


Comments made by nutritionists enabled the construction of an instrument that is able to answer questions related to food consumption in schools and at home.


focus group discussions; nutritionists; questionnaire; web-based

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