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Development and validation of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for assessing dietary macronutrients and calcium intake in Cambodian school-aged children

Horiuchi, Yoko, Kusama, Kaoru, Sar, Kanha, Yoshiike, Nobuo
Nutrition journal 2019 v.18 no.1 pp. 11
calcium, energy intake, food frequency questionnaires, food intake, nutrient intake, nutritional status, regression analysis, school children, surveys, Cambodia
BACKGROUND: The nutritional status of school-aged children in Cambodia remains largely unknown. No tools for large-scale assessment of daily nutrient intake exist for this population, making development of appropriate intervention strategies difficult. Thus, we aimed to devise and validate a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) that is suitable for and dedicated to assessing the dietary intake of macronutrients and calcium in school-aged children in Cambodia. METHODS: We developed an FFQ based on data from a single 24-h recall survey of 2020 children. The final list, which was developed as specified in the Block method and stepwise multiple regression analysis, comprised of 56 food items covering intake of energy, macronutrients, and calcium. We assessed the validity of the FFQ by comparison with a duplicated 24-h recall survey before and after de-attenuation. We also tested the reproducibility by comparing the first and second FFQs (FFQ1 and FFQ2) administered at an interval of approximately 6 weeks. RESULTS: The 56 food items in the FFQ accounted for 73.3% of the dietary calcium intake of Cambodian children and explained most of the inter-individual variation (cumulative R²: 0.96). The intake estimated by the FFQ was lower than the average intake across the two 24-h recall surveys. Spearman’s correlation coefficients for comparison between FFQ1 and FFQ2 ranged from 0.29 for fat to 0.47 for calcium. After de-attenuation of data, Pearson’s correlation coefficients ranged from 0.38 for fat to 0.71 for energy. Cross-classification analysis indicated that the average percentage of the subjects classified in the same or adjacent quartiles was 78.0%. CONCLUSIONS: The FFQ is potentially a reliable scale for measuring nutrient intake in this population.