Background/Aims: Dietary habits formed in childhood can have a significant impact on their health later in life. It is therefore essential to measure children’s food intake accurately. The aim of this study was to assess the reproducibility and relative validity of a qualitative 28-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), namely the Physical activity, Exercise, Diet And Lifestyle Study (PEDALS FFQ) in 9-10 year-old children.
Methods: Fifty children from three schools in Dunedin, New Zealand, completed the PEDALS FFQ twice and also a four day estimated food diary (4DEFD) within a two-week interval. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Spearman’s correlation coefficients (SCC) were used to determine reproducibility and relative validity of the FFQ, respectively. Weekly intakes were estimated for each food item and aggregated into 23 food items/groups.
Results: More than half of the food items/groups (52.2%) had an ICC higher than 0.5. The median SCC between FFQ administrations was 0.66 (ranging from 0.40 for processed meat to 0.82 for sweets and non-dairy drinks). For validity analyses, 70% of food items/groups had a SCC ≥ 0.3. Cross-classification analysis between the first FFQ and 4DEFD for ranking participants into thirds showed breakfast cereals (54.0%) had the highest agreement and pasta (34.0%) the lowest.
Conclusion: The results indicate that the PEDALS FFQ is useful for ranking subjects according to food group intake. The low respondent burden and relative simplicity of this FFQ means it is suitable for use in large cohort studies of 9-10 year-old children in New Zealand.
Funding source(s): N/A