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Validation and reproducibility of a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire for use in elderly Swiss women


Emma Wynn Dumartheray, Consultation d'ostéoporose, Policlinique médicale Universitaire, Rue du Bugnon 44, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Tel.: +0041 (0) 21 314 09 06
Fax: +0041 (0) 21 314 47 37


Objective  The principal aim of this study was to develop a Swiss Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) for the elderly population for use in a study to investigate the influence of nutritional factors on bone health. The secondary aim was to assess its validity and both short-term and long-term reproducibility.

Design  A 4-day weighed record (4 d WR) was applied to 51 randomly selected women of a mean age of 80.3 years. Subsequently, a detailed FFQ was developed, cross-validated against a further 44 4-d WR, and the short- (1 month, n = 15) and long-term (12 months, n = 14) reproducibility examined.

Setting  French speaking part of Switzerland.

Subjects  The subjects were randomly selected women recruited from the Swiss Evaluation of the Methods of Measurement of Osteoporotic Fracture cohort study.

Results  Mean energy intakes by 4-d WR and FFQ showed no significant difference [1564.9 kcal (SD 351.1); 1641.3 kcal (SD 523.2) respectively]. Mean crude nutrient intakes were also similar (with nonsignifcant P-values examining the differences in intake) and ranged from 0.13 (potassium) to 0.48 (magnesium). Similar results were found in the reproducibility studies.

Conclusion  These findings provide evidence that this FFQ adequately estimates nutrient intakes and can be used to rank individuals within distributions of intake in specific populations.