Validity and Reproducibility of a Food Frequency Questionnaire for Dietary Factors Related to Colorectal Cancer
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Dietary factors play a major role in the development of colorectal cancer. This study evaluated the reproducibility and validity of a 109-food item Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) to measure the consumption of foods and nutrients related to the development of colorectal cancer in a population aged 50 years in Flanders, Belgium. A semi-quantitative FFQ was administered two times in a period of two weeks to evaluate reproducibility (FFQ1 and FFQ2). The validity of the FFQ was assessed by comparing FFQ1 against the 3-day diary method (3 DD). A total of 162 respondents (mean age 57.5 years) provided data for the FFQ, of whom 156 also participated in the validity assessment. Mean differences in the intake of foods and nutrients between FFQ1 and FFQ2 were, overall, small and statistically insignificant. However, a higher estimation was observed by FFQ1 as compared to the 3-DD method for the majority of food groups and nutrient intake in the validity assessment. A systematic mean difference (g/day) was observed for eight food groups in the Bland-Altman agreement test; the largest was for fruit intake. Regarding the nutrients, a systematic mean difference was observed in calcium, fat, and vitamin D intake. Overall, the reproducibility of the FFQ was good, and its validity could be satisfactory for estimating absolute food and nutrient intakes and ranking individuals according to high and low intake categories.
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