Objectives: To assess the short- and long-term reproducibility of a short food group questionnaire, and to compare its performance for estimating nutrient intakes in comparison with a 7-day diet diary.
Design: Participants for the reproducibility study completed the food group questionnaire at two time points, up to 2 years apart. Participants for the performance study completed both the food group questionnaire and a 7-day diet diary a few months apart. Reproducibility was assessed by kappa statistics and percentage change between the two questionnaires; performance was assessed by kappa statistics, rank correlations and percentages of participants classified into the same and opposite thirds of intake.
Setting: A random sample of participants in the Million Women Study, a population-based prospective study in the UK.
Subjects: In total, 12 221 women aged 50-64 years.
Results: In the reproducibility study, 75% of the food group items showed at least moderate agreement for all four time-point comparisons. Items showing fair agreement or worse tended to be those where few respondents reported eating them more than once a week, those consumed in small amounts and those relating to types of fat consumed. Compared with the diet diary, the food group questionnaire showed consistently reasonable performance for the nutrients carbohydrate, saturated fat, cholesterol, total sugars, alcohol, fibre, calcium, riboflavin, folate and vitamin C.
Conclusions: The short food group questionnaire used in this study has been shown to be reproducible over time and to perform reasonably well for the assessment of a number of dietary nutrients.