Reproducibility and validity of food group intake in a short food frequency questionnaire for the middle-aged Japanese population

Nahomi Imaeda, Chiho Goto, Tae Sasakabe, Haruo Mikami, Isao Oze, Akihiro Hosono, Mariko Naito, Naoko Miyagawa, Etsuko Ozaki, Hiroaki Ikezaki, Hinako Nanri, Noriko T. Nakahata, Sakurako K. Kamano, Kiyonori Kuriki, Yuri T. Yaguchi, Takamasa Kayama, Ayako Kurihara, Sei Harada, Kenji Wakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reproducibility and validity of a short food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for food group intake in Japan, the reproducibility and partial validity of which were previously confirmed for nutrients. Methods: A total of 288 middle-aged healthy volunteers from 11 different areas of Japan provided nonconsecutive 3-day weighed dietary records (DRs) at 3-month intervals over four seasons. We evaluated reproducibility based on the first (FFQ1) and second (FFQ2) questionnaires and their validity against the DRs by comparing the intake of 20 food groups. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients (SRs) were calculated between energy-adjusted intake from the FFQs and that from the DRs. Results: The intake of 20 food groups estimated from the two FFQs was mostly equivalent. The median energy-adjusted SRs between the FFQ1 and FFQ2 were 0.61 (range 0.38–0.86) for men and 0.66 (0.45–0.84) for women. For validity, the median de-attenuated SRs between DRs and the FFQ1 were 0.51 (0.17–0.76) for men and 0.47 (0.23–0.77) for women. Compared with the DRs, the proportion of cross-classification into exact plus adjacent quintiles with the FFQ1 ranged from 58 to 86% in men and from 57 to 86% in women. According to the robust Z scores and the Bland–Altman plot graphs, the underestimation errors in the FFQ1 tended to be greater in individuals with high mean levels of consumption for meat for men and for other vegetables for both men and women. Conclusion: The FFQ demonstrated high reproducibility and reasonable validity for food group intake. This questionnaire is short and remains appropriate for identifying associations between diet and health/disease among adults in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalEnvironmental health and preventive medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Reproducibility and validity of food group intake in a short food frequency questionnaire for the middle-aged Japanese population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this