What is the Validity of Questionnaires Assessing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Children when Compared with Blood Biomarkers? A Meta-Analysis

Nutrients. 2018 Oct 1;10(10):1396. doi: 10.3390/nu10101396.


Fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with improved health outcomes in children. As an extensive number of questionnaires are currently used to assess fruit and vegetable consumption, we performed a systematic review of the criterion validity of questionnaires used to estimate fruit and vegetable consumption in children, considering blood biomarkers as the reference method. Five electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus, PsycINFO, Web of Science) were searched from database inception to 23 July 2018. The search strategy used the following sets of descriptors: children; fruits and vegetables; dietary questionnaires; blood biomarkers; and validation coefficient. The search terms were adapted for use with other databases in combination with database-specific filters. Potentially eligible articles were selected independently by two reviewers, separately, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Two articles meeting the inclusion criteria were included. The main reason for study exclusion was the sample age range, which included adolescents. The pooled correlation coefficient was 0.32 (95% confidence interval: 0.24⁻0.40).This review provided insights into assessment methods of fruit and vegetable consumption in children. Although further studies are required, questionnaires for assessing fruit and vegetable consumption have fair criterion validity in children.

Keywords: biomarkers; children; fruits and vegetables; meta-analysis; systematic review; validity; vitamins.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet Surveys / methods
  • Diet Surveys / standards*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Vegetables*


  • Biomarkers