Validation of a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire administered in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study: comparison of energy, protein, and macronutrient intakes estimated with the doubly labeled water, urinary nitrogen, and repeated 24-h dietary recall methods.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999 ; 70: 439-47.
DOI : 10.1093/ajcn/70.4.439
PubMed ID : 10500011
The validation of dietary assessment instruments is critical in the evaluation of diet as a chronic disease risk factor.
The objective was to assess the validity of a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire by comparison with dietary recall, urinary nitrogen excretion, and total energy expenditure data.
Over a 1-y period, data from twelve 24-h dietary recalls, a food-frequency questionnaire, and four 24-h urine samples were obtained from 134 study participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study in Potsdam, Germany. In a substudy of 28 participants, total energy expenditure from doubly labeled water measurements was assessed.
Energy-adjusted, deattenuated correlation coefficients between the questionnaire and the recalls ranged from 0.54 for dietary fiber to 0.86 for alcohol. Cross-classification of quintiles of nutrient intakes from the questionnaire and recalls indicated severe misclassification to be <4%. Reported protein intake correlated with estimated protein excretion (r = 0.46). Energy intake and total energy expenditure were also significantly correlated (r = 0.48); however, all but one subject underreported their energy intake. The magnitude of underreporting varied considerably, by 22% on average, and increased slightly with increasing energy intake. A similar pattern of underreporting was observed when energy intakes from the 24-h dietary recalls were compared with total energy expenditure.
These data indicate an acceptable relative validity of the food-frequency questionnaire in this study population. Compared with measurements of total energy expenditure and protein excretion, however, only moderate agreement with both the food-frequency questionnaire and the 24-h dietary recalls was observed.