Comparison of weighed food record procedures for the reference methods in two validation studies of food frequency questionnaires

J Epidemiol. 2017 Jul;27(7):331-337. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 Mar 13.


Background: Although open-ended dietary assessment methods, such as weighed food records (WFRs), are generally considered to be comparable, differences between procedures may influence outcome when WFRs are conducted independently. In this paper, we assess the procedures of WFRs in two studies to describe their dietary assessment procedures and compare the subsequent outcomes.

Methods: WFRs of 12 days (3 days for four seasons) were conducted as reference methods for intake data, in accordance with the study protocol, among a subsample of participants of two large cohort studies. We compared the WFR procedures descriptively. We also compared some dietary intake variables, such as the frequency of foods and dishes and contributing foods, to determine whether there were differences in the portion size distribution and intra- and inter-individual variation in nutrient intakes caused by the difference in procedures.

Results: General procedures of the dietary records were conducted in accordance with the National Health and Nutrition Survey and were the same for both studies. Differences were seen in 1) selection of multiple days (non-consecutive days versus consecutive days); and 2) survey sheet recording method (individual versus family participation). However, the foods contributing to intake of energy and selected nutrients, the portion size distribution, and intra- and inter-individual variation in nutrient intakes were similar between the two studies.

Conclusion: Our comparison of WFR procedures in two independent studies revealed several differences. Notwithstanding these procedural differences, however, the subsequent outcomes were similar.

Keywords: Dietary assessment method; Dietary records; Standardization.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Records*
  • Diet Surveys / methods*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Validation Studies as Topic*