Title: Relative validity of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire for Singaporean toddlers aged 15–36 months
|Authors:||Cameron Allan, Ummi Hani Abdul Kader, Jowynn Yu Ying Ang, Leilani Muhardi and Smita Nambiar|
Toddlerhood is a critical period during the lifecycle.
This phase is marked by rapid growth, maturation of organs and increasing levels of physical activity. Relative to their body size, toddlers have high nutritional requirements.
Therefore, insights into food and nutrient intakes of toddlers are extremely important.
There is presently no simple tool for use in large epidemiological studies to understand the food and nutrient intakes of Asian toddlers. This study aimed to assess the relative validity of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (sqFFQ) developed for multi-ethnic Singaporean toddlers aged 15–36 months.
Results indicated that overall, the sqFFQ overestimated intakes of all nutrients when compared to the WFR (weighed food record). This finding was consistent with literature and most likely attributable to the format of the sqFFQ.
This recently developed Singaporean toddler semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire is suitable for ranking nutrient intakes of Singaporean toddlers in larger epidemiological studies.
However, for population estimates of absolute nutrient intakes, it is recommended that a subsample within a cohort complete weighed food records for calibration purposes.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a toddler-specific sqFFQ, developed for a multiethnic Asian population, has been validated against a WFR (weighed food record) for an extensive range of nutrients.
It is also one of few FFQ validation studies using a range of methods in a systematic way, and therefore provides a model for the conduction of future toddler FFQ validation studies outside of Singapore.
This tool will be useful in large epidemiological studies to determine dietary patterns, frequency of consumption of particular foods or food groups, or rank nutrient intakes to study diet-disease relationships.
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Citation: Allan C, Abdul Kader UH, Ang JYY, Muhardi L, Nambiar S. Relative validity of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire for Singaporean toddlers aged 15–36 months. BMC Nutrition (2018) 4:42. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40795-018-0252-9.