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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 286–290 | Cite as

Vegetable and Fruit Food Frequency Questionnaire Serves as a Proxy for Quantified Intake

  • Marie M. Traynor
  • Philippa H. Holowaty
  • Debra J. Reid
  • Katherine Gray-Donald
Article

Abstract

Background: Public health practitioners need valid tools to survey trends in dietary intake. The Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) includes an optional six-item vegetable and fruit intake food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) module. Our objectives were 1) to compare reported vegetable and fruit consumption from the FFQ to quantified servings (portions) defined by Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating and ascertained by a reference method, and 2) to compare the FFQ with the reference method for their classification of the proportion of respondents consuming five or more servings of vegetables and fruit per day.

Methods: Dietitians administered 24-hour recalls to each of 174 adult respondents who had completed the FFQ as part of the RRFSS. Recalls were conducted over the telephone on three separate occasions using an adaptation of the multiple pass method.

Results: The mean total intake of vegetables and fruit for the group was 4.6 times/day from the FFQ versus 4.8 servings/day from the recalls (paired t-test; p=0.92). Thirty-seven percent of respondents were classified as consuming five or more times/day by the FFQ versus 35% by the 24-hour recall servings.

Conclusion: The FFQ tool can be used as a proxy for quantified intake of vegetable and fruit consumption.

MeSH terms

Validation studies fruit vegetables diet surveys 

Résumé

Contexte: Les intervenants en santé publique ont besoin d’outils valables pour évaluer les tendances de la consommation alimentaire. Actuellement, le Système rapide de surveillance des facteurs de risque (SRSFR) inclut un module facultatif de six questions sur la fréquence de consommation (QFC) des fruits et légumes. Nos objectifs consistaient 1) à évaluer si le QFC pouvait être un substitut raisonnable aux portions mesurées et 2) à comparer pour chaque méthode la proportion de l’échantillon consommant en moyenne au moins les cinq portions par jour recommandées dans le Guide alimentaire canadien pour manger sainement.

Méthode: Des diététistes ont fait remplir des feuilles de rappel des aliments ingérés pendant les 24 dernières heures à chacun des 174 répondants adultes qui ont rempli le QFC dans le cadre du SRSFR. Trois exercices de rappel ont été administrés par téléphone en utilisant une version modifiée de la méthode en plusieurs parcours (Multiple-Pass Method) utilisée par le département américain de l’Agriculture.

Résultats: Selon la méthode des rappels, la moyenne de la consommation totale de légumes et de fruits pour le groupe était de 4,8 portions/jour et n’était pas significativement différente des 4,6 occasions de consommer/jour obtenues par le biais du QFC (test t jumelé, p=0,92). Trente-cinq pour cent des répondants ont été classés comme consommateurs d’au moins cinq portions par jour selon la méthode des rappels, et 37 % selon le QFC.

Conclusion: Les résultats indiquent que le module QFC peut être utilisé comme un substitut à la consommation mesurée.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie M. Traynor
    • 1
  • Philippa H. Holowaty
    • 2
  • Debra J. Reid
    • 3
  • Katherine Gray-Donald
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Dietetics and Human NutritionMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Halton Region Health DepartmentHaltonCanada
  3. 3.Department of National DefenceForce Health Protection, CF Health Services GroupOttawaCanada
  4. 4.School of Dietetics and Human NutritionMcGill UniversitySte Anne de BellevueCanada

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