Vol 11, No 2 (2015):139-146

Validation of a simplified food frequency questionnaire for the assessment of dietary habits in Iranian adults: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, Iran

Noushin Mohammadifard, Firouzeh Sajjadi, Maryam Maghroun, Hassan Alikhasi, Farzaneh Nilforoushzadeh, Nizal Sarrafzadegan


BACKGROUND: Dietary assessment is the first step of dietary modification in community-based interventional programs. This study was performed to validate a simple food frequency questionnaire (SFFQ) for assessment of selected food items in epidemiological studies with a large sample size as well as community trails.

METHODS: This validation study was carried out on 264 healthy adults aged ≥ 41 years old living in 3 district central of Iran, including Isfahan, Najafabad, and Arak. Selected food intakes were assessed using a 48-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The FFQ was interviewer-administered, which was completed twice; at the beginning of the study and 2 weeks thereafter. The validity of this SFFQ was examined compared to estimated amount by single 24 h dietary recall and 2 days dietary record. Validation of the FFQ was determined using Spearman correlation coefficients between daily frequency consumption of food groups as assessed by the FFQ and the qualitative amount of daily food groups intake accessed by dietary reference method was applied to evaluate validity. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to determine the reproducibility.

RESULTS: Spearman correlation coefficient between the estimated amount of food groups intake by examined and reference methods ranged from 0.105 (P = 0.378) in pickles to 0.48
(P < 0.001) in plant protein. ICC for reproducibility of FFQ were between 0.47-0.69 in different food groups (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The designed SFFQ has a good relative validity and reproducibility for assessment of selected food groups intake. Thus, it can serve as a valid tool in epidemiological studies and clinical trial with large participants.




Validity, Reliability, Food Frequency Questionnaire, Dietary Intake, Food

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