Validation of a youth/adolescent food frequency questionnaire

Prev Med. 1997 Nov-Dec;26(6):808-16. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1997.0200.


Background: To address limited longitudinal nutrition data on children and adolescents, a self-administered food frequency questionnaire was designed for older children and adolescents. Initially, the Youth/Adolescent Questionnaire (YAQ) was developed and demonstrated to be reproducible. This study was conducted to evaluate its validity.

Methods: The form was administered twice to a sample of 261 youths (ages 9 to 18) at an approximate interval of 1 year (1993-1994), and three 24-hr dietary recalls were collected during this period. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated on nutrient data.

Results: Validity was first evaluated by comparing the average of the three 24-hr recalls to the average of the two YAQs. Similar mean nutrients were found by both methods. Correlation coefficients between the mean energy-adjusted nutrients computed by the two methods ranged from 0.21 for sodium to 0.58 for folate. After correction for within-person error, the average correlation coefficient was 0.54, similar to that found among adults.

Conclusion: A simple self-administered questionnaire completed by older children and adolescents can provide nutritional information about this age group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bias
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*