Development of a brief questionnaire to assess habitual beverage intake (BEVQ-15): sugar-sweetened beverages and total beverage energy intake

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Jun;112(6):840-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.01.023.


Introduction: Energy-containing beverages, specifically sugar-sweetened beverages, may contribute to weight gain and obesity development. Yet, no rapid assessment tools are available which quantify habitual beverage intake (grams, energy) in adults.

Objective: Determine the factorial validity of a newly developed beverage intake questionnaire (BEVQ) and identify potential to reduce items.

Methods: Participants from varying economic and educational backgrounds (n=1,596, age 43±12 years, body mass index [calculated as kg/m(2)] 31.5±0.2) completed a 19-item BEVQ (BEVQ-19). Beverages that contributed <10% to total beverage, or sugar-sweetened beverages, energy and grams were identified for potential removal. Factor analyses identified beverage categories that could potentially be combined. Regression analyses compared BEVQ-19 outcomes with the reduced version's (BEVQ-15) variables. Inter-item reliability was assessed using Cronbach's α. Following BEVQ-15 development, a subsequent study (n=70, age 37±2 years; body mass index 24.5±0.4) evaluated the relative validity of the BEVQ-15 through comparison of three 24-hour dietary recalls' beverage intake.

Results: Three beverage items were identified for elimination (vegetable juice, meal replacement drinks, and mixed alcoholic drinks); beer and light beer were combined into one category. Regression models using BEVQ-15 variables explained 91% to 99% of variance in the four major outcomes of the BEVQ-19 (all P<0.001). Cronbach's α ranged .97 to .99 for all outcomes. In the follow-up study, BEVQ-15 and three 24-hour dietary recalls' variables were significantly correlated with the exception of whole milk; BEVQ-15 sugar-sweetened beverages (R(2)=0.69), and total beverage energy (R(2)=0.59) were more highly correlated with three 24-hour dietary recalls' than previously reported for the BEVQ-19. The BEVQ-15 produced a lower readability score of 4.8, which is appropriate for individuals with a fourth-grade education or greater.

Conclusions: The BEVQ-19 can be reduced to a 15-item questionnaire. This brief dietary assessment tool will enable researchers and practitioners to rapidly (administration time of ∼2 minutes) assess habitual beverage intake, and to determine possible associations of beverage consumption with health-related outcomes, such as weight status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Beverages / statistics & numerical data*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet Surveys / instrumentation
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Sucrose