Nutrición Hospitalaria 00650 /
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Is there any alternative to traditional food frequency questionnaire for evaluating habitual dietary intake?

Luis María Béjar, Esther Vázquez-limón

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Introduction: Dietary assessment methods are an important instrument for nutrition research. Food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) have been the most frequently used dietary assessment tool in epidemiological and intervention studies. There is a great necessity for new methods of determination of habitual dietary intake that overcome the limitations of these traditional methods.Objectives: The objectives of the present study were to develop a new method, based on an application for mobile phones called e-EPIDEMIOLOGY, designed to record individual consumption data about a short series of foods/drinks, and to compare data collected using this tool with those obtained from a previously validated short paper FFQ. Methods: University students over 18 years recorded the consumption of certain foods/drinks using e-EPIDEMIOLOGY during 28 consecutive days and then filled out a short paper FFQ at the end of the study period. To evaluate the agreement between both methods, Spearman’s correlation coefficient, cross-classification analysis and a weighted kappa statistic were used.Results: One hundred and nineteen participants completed the study (71.4% female and 28.6% male). The mean Spearman’s correlation coefficients for food/drink group intake between the two methods was 0.73. The mean percentage of participants cross-classified into categories of “exact agreement + adjacent” was 91.6%. The average weighted kappa statistic was 0.60.Conclusions: The results indicate that e-EPIDEMIOLOGY has good agreement with the previously validated FFQ short paper. However, it was noted that further testing of e-EPIDEMIOLOGY is required to establish its wider utility. 

Palabras Clave: Epidemiologic methods. Nutrition assessment. Diet records. Surveys and questionnaires. Smartphone.

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