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Comparison of food frequency questionnaires: the reduced Block and Willett questionnaires differ in ranking on nutrient intakes

Wirfält, Elisabet LU ; Jeffery, R W and Elmer, P J (1998) In American Journal of Epidemiology 148(12). p.1148-1156
Abstract
Food frequency questionnaires, major tools in epidemiologic studies, are often criticized for biased and imprecise intake estimates. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of two widely used food frequency questionnaires, a reduced 60-item Block questionnaire and a 153-item Willett food frequency questionnaire, relative to three 24-hour recalls administered by telephone. The dietary data were collected in 1991 from a group of healthy women age 25-49 years (n=101) during the baseline period of a weight-loss intervention study in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Total energy and macro- and micronutrient intakes were compared across methods by using four analytic approaches: comparison of means and correlation coefficients, regression... (More)
Food frequency questionnaires, major tools in epidemiologic studies, are often criticized for biased and imprecise intake estimates. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of two widely used food frequency questionnaires, a reduced 60-item Block questionnaire and a 153-item Willett food frequency questionnaire, relative to three 24-hour recalls administered by telephone. The dietary data were collected in 1991 from a group of healthy women age 25-49 years (n=101) during the baseline period of a weight-loss intervention study in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Total energy and macro- and micronutrient intakes were compared across methods by using four analytic approaches: comparison of means and correlation coefficients, regression analysis, and estimation of percent agreement between each questionnaire and recalls. The Block instrument showed an overall underestimation bias, but was more successful in categorizing individuals on percent energy from fat and carbohydrate intakes than was the Willett instrument. The Willett instrument showed no overall underestimation bias and was more successful in classifying individuals on vitamin A and calcium intakes. Diverging performance characteristics of diet assessment methods have an implication for the design of studies, interpretation of results, and comparison of findings across studies. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
bias (epidemiology), diet, epidemiologic methods, nutrition assessment, nutrition surveys, questionnaires
in
American Journal of Epidemiology
volume
148
issue
12
pages
1148 - 1156
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • pmid:9867258
  • scopus:0032535367
ISSN
0002-9262
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6566cf17-cf94-499f-9e87-dedfda070d3e (old id 1113607)
alternative location
http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/148/12/1148
date added to LUP
2008-07-15 13:15:33
date last changed
2017-09-10 03:40:39
@article{6566cf17-cf94-499f-9e87-dedfda070d3e,
  abstract     = {Food frequency questionnaires, major tools in epidemiologic studies, are often criticized for biased and imprecise intake estimates. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of two widely used food frequency questionnaires, a reduced 60-item Block questionnaire and a 153-item Willett food frequency questionnaire, relative to three 24-hour recalls administered by telephone. The dietary data were collected in 1991 from a group of healthy women age 25-49 years (n=101) during the baseline period of a weight-loss intervention study in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Total energy and macro- and micronutrient intakes were compared across methods by using four analytic approaches: comparison of means and correlation coefficients, regression analysis, and estimation of percent agreement between each questionnaire and recalls. The Block instrument showed an overall underestimation bias, but was more successful in categorizing individuals on percent energy from fat and carbohydrate intakes than was the Willett instrument. The Willett instrument showed no overall underestimation bias and was more successful in classifying individuals on vitamin A and calcium intakes. Diverging performance characteristics of diet assessment methods have an implication for the design of studies, interpretation of results, and comparison of findings across studies.},
  author       = {Wirfält, Elisabet and Jeffery, R W and Elmer, P J},
  issn         = {0002-9262},
  keyword      = {bias (epidemiology),diet,epidemiologic methods,nutrition assessment,nutrition surveys,questionnaires},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {1148--1156},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {American Journal of Epidemiology},
  title        = {Comparison of food frequency questionnaires: the reduced Block and Willett questionnaires differ in ranking on nutrient intakes},
  volume       = {148},
  year         = {1998},
}