Validation of a food frequency questionnaire for assessment of calcium and bone-related nutrient intake in rural populations.

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the ability of a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to measure calcium and bone-related nutrient intakes in a rural South Dakota population.
DESIGN: Intake estimates from FFQ were compared with four 24-hour recalls obtained quarterly during the preceding year.
SUBJECTS: Convenience sample of 100 participants of the South Dakota Rural Bone Health Study were recruited, with 81 completing the FFQ.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Calcium and bone-related nutrient intakes were expressed as milligrams per day, milligrams per 1,000 kcal, or quartiles.
STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Intakes by FFQ and 24-hour recalls were compared using paired t test and quartiles were formed to examine cross-classification.
RESULTS: Calcium intakes from FFQ and recalls were 1,287 and 1,141 mg/day (P=0.01), but calcium per 1,000 kcal did not differ. Calcium intake by FFQ correlated with intake by recall when expressed as milligrams per day (r=0.49, P<0.001) or milligrams per 1,000 kcal (r=0.59, P<0.001). Bland-Altman graphs indicated fairly good agreement between methods. Seventy-eight percent of subjects fell into the same or within one quartile category when calcium intake was expressed as milligrams per day and 83% when expressed as milligrams per 1,000 kcal. Gross misclassification occurred in 0% to 4% of the nutrients.
CONCLUSIONS: Although FFQ may not be a valid indicator of an individual's intake, it does adequately classify rural populations into quartiles of calcium and bone-related nutrient intakes, making it a useful tool for assessing dietary calcium and bone related intake in rural populations.

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Journal of the American Dietetic Association





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