Relative validity of fruit and vegetable intake estimated from an FFQ, using carotenoid and flavonoid biomarkers and the method of triads

Br J Nutr. 2011 May;105(10):1530-8. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510005246. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


The aim of the present study was to validate the intakes of fruit, juice and vegetables from an FFQ. In sub-study I (n 147), intakes from the FFQ were evaluated against 7 d weighed food records (WR) and plasma carotenoid concentrations, whereas in sub-study II (n 85), the intakes were evaluated against plasma carotenoid concentrations and amounts of flavonoids in 24 h urine samples. Relative validity was evaluated by comparing median intakes, estimating correlation coefficients and validity coefficients using the method of triads. In sub-study I, we observed no significant difference in daily median fruit intake between the FFQ and the WR, whereas the intake of vegetables was higher from the FFQ than from the WR. The correlations between intakes from the FFQ and the WR ranged from 0·31 to 0·58. In sub-study II, the intakes of fruit and vegetables correlated significantly with plasma carotenoid concentrations and urinary flavonoids. The validity coefficients for the intakes of fruit and vegetables from the FFQ ranged from 0·61 to 0·88 in sub-study I and from 0·60 to 0·94 in sub-study II. In summary, based on the associations observed between intakes from the FFQ and the biomarkers and the FFQ validity coefficients, the FFQ was found valid and suitable for ranking individuals according to their usual intake of fruit, juice and vegetables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carotenoids / blood*
  • Diet Records*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / blood*
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Flavonoids
  • Carotenoids