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Validation and reproducibility of a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire for use in elderly Swiss women

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Abstract Objective 

The principal aim of this study was to develop a Swiss Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) for the elderly population for use in a study to investigate the influence of nutritional factors on bone health. The secondary aim was to assess its validity and both short-term and long-term reproducibility. Design 

A 4-day weighed record (4 d WR) was applied to 51 randomly selected women of a mean age of 80.3 years. Subsequently, a detailed FFQ was developed, cross-validated against a further 44 4-d WR, and the short- (1 month, n = 15) and long-term (12 months, n = 14) reproducibility examined. Setting 

French speaking part of Switzerland. Subjects 

The subjects were randomly selected women recruited from the Swiss Evaluation of the Methods of Measurement of Osteoporotic Fracture cohort study. Results 

Mean energy intakes by 4-d WR and FFQ showed no significant difference [1564.9 kcal (SD 351.1); 1641.3 kcal (SD 523.2) respectively]. Mean crude nutrient intakes were also similar (with nonsignifcant P-values examining the differences in intake) and ranged from 0.13 (potassium) to 0.48 (magnesium). Similar results were found in the reproducibility studies. Conclusion 

These findings provide evidence that this FFQ adequately estimates nutrient intakes and can be used to rank individuals within distributions of intake in specific populations.
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Keywords: Food Frequency Questionnaire; Swiss elderly population; bone health; osteoporosis; reproducibility; validation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Outpatient Clinic, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland 2: Centre for Nutrition and Food Safety, School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences 3: Postgraduate Medical School, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK 4: Clinique Bois-Cerf, Osteoporosis Consultation, Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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