Comparability of Nutrient Estimation by Three Food Frequency Questionnaires for Use in Epidemiological Studies
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Replication of results is an important issue in studies of diet and disease, possibly dependent on data collection method. We compared assessments from the Health Habits and History Questionnaire (HHHQ), the Harvard Semiquantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (HFFQ), and the New York State Cohort Food Frequency Questionnaire (CFFQ) for estimates of daily intakes of energy, protein, carbohydrates, total fat, dietary fiber, cholesterol, vitamins A, C, and E, and carotenoids. Fifty-nine men and 50 women aged 35-73 years completed the HHHQ and HFFQ as interviews and the 44-food CFFQ as a self-administered mailed questionnaire. Comparability was assessed with Spearman correlation coefficients. Quantitation of nutrient intake differed by nutrient, questionnaire, and nutrient calculation method. Ranking on energy and macronutrient intake for the HHHQ and HFFQ ranged from 0.62 to 0.80; ranking for micronutrient intake ranged from 0.56 to 0.80. For the CFFQ with the HHHQ or HFFQ, correlations ranged between 0.29 and 0.62. The CFFQ performs comparably to the HHHQ and HFFQ for some, but not all, nutrients; our results suggest that the HHHQ and HFFQ can be used interchangeably with reasonable confidence in studies of diet and disease.
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