Objective: To validate a new food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for measuring the intake of fruit, vegetables and tea reported by women participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).
Design: Intake of fruits, vegetables and tea estimated by the FFQ was compared with urinary flavonoid excretion, plasma carotenoid concentration and intake measured by a 4-day weighed food diary (FD). The triangular method was applied to calculate FFQ validity coefficients using two independent biomarkers.
Setting and subjects: One hundred and nineteen women participating in MoBa.
Results: The FFQ estimate of fruit intake was significantly correlated with urine phloretin (r = 0.33), citrus fruit/juice with urine hesperetin (r = 0.44), cooked vegetables with plasma alpha-carotene (r = 0.37), and tea with urine kaempferol (r = 0.41) (P < 0.01 for all). On average, 60% of the participants fell into the same or adjacent quintiles when classified by FFQ and biomarkers. Significant correlations between the FFQ and FD were found for fruit (r = 0.39), vegetables (r = 0.34), juices (r = 0.50) and tea (r = 0.53). The FFQ validity coefficient was 0.65 for citrus fruit/juice and 0.59 for cooked vegetables as calculated by the triangular method.
Conclusions: The validation study shows that the MoBa FFQ can be used to estimate fruit, juice, vegetable and tea intake in pregnant Norwegian women, and to rank individuals within the distribution.