Validity of two short screeners for diet quality in time-limited settings

Public Health Nutr. 2012 Apr;15(4):618-26. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011001923. Epub 2011 Aug 23.


Objective: An urgent need in dietary assessment is the development of short tools that provide valid assessments of dietary quality for use in time-limited settings. The present study assessed concurrent and construct validity of the short Diet Quality Screener (sDQS) and brief Mediterranean Diet Screener (bMDSC) questionnaires.

Design: Relative validity was measured by comparing three dietary quality indices--the Diet Quality Index (DQI), the modified Mediterranean Diet Score (mMDS) and the Antioxidant Score (ANTOX-S)--derived from the two questionnaires with those from multiple 24 h recalls over 12 months. Construct validity was demonstrated by correlations between average nutrient intake recorded on multiple 24 h recalls and the DQI, mMDS and ANTOX-S derived by the short screeners.

Setting: Both short questionnaires were administered to 102 participants recruited from a population-based survey in Spain.

Results: DQI, mMDS and ANTOX-S correlated (P < 0·001) with the corresponding 24 h recall indices (r = 0·61, 0·40 and 0·45, respectively). Limits of agreement lay between 96 and 126%, 59 and 144% and 61 and 118% for the DQI, ANTOX-S and mMDS, respectively. Dietary intakes of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E, Mg and K reported on the 24 h recalls were positively associated (P < 0·04) with the DQI, mMDS and ANTOX-S indices.

Conclusions: The sDQS and bMDSC provide reasonable approximations to food-based dietary indices and accurately situate subjects within the indices constructed for the present validation study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet / standards*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants