A simple method for assessing calcium intake in Caucasian women

J Am Diet Assoc. 1989 Feb;89(2):209-14.


Calcium intake has been implicated in the etiology of age-related osteoporosis. There is evidence to suggest that many postmenopausal women consume inadequate calcium to maintain calcium balance. One of the most accurate methods of calculating dietary intake is the weighed food record; however, that method is time consuming and unsuitable for large numbers of individuals. To determine the adequacy of calcium intake in the large numbers of postmenopausal women at risk of osteoporosis, simpler methods of assessing calcium intake are required. We therefore developed a food frequency questionnaire and tested it against a 4-day weighed food record in 54 Caucasian women, between 29 and 72 years of age. Twenty-six of the women (Group 1) completed a 4-day record and questionnaire within 1 week. Another 28 women (Group 2) completed the questionnaire 1 to 12 months after completing the 4-day food diary. A good correlation (r = .79, p less than .001) was found between the two methods of calculating calcium intake for the 54 women. Independent analysis of Group 1 and Group 2 showed correlation coefficients of 0.81 and 0.78, respectively. The correlation for postmenopausal women (r = .84) was similar to that of premenopausal women (r = .79). The data show that a short, simple questionnaire can be used to rank individuals according to adequacy of calcium intake as a prerequisite to nutrition intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Diet Surveys
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Calcium, Dietary