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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


TOXQUI, Laura; DIAZ ALVAREZ, Alejandra  and  VAQUERO, María Pilar. A food frequency questionnaire to assess diet quality in the prevention of iron deficiency. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.32, n.3, pp.1315-1323. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: despite the extensive knowledge on iron bioavailability, a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) for application in population groups predisposed to iron deficiency anaemia has not been implemented. Objectives: to design a FFQ based on enhancers and inhibitors of iron absorption and to assess its applicability in a group of women at childbearing age. Methods: the FFQ included 28 items and the time of consumption for 10 of them, breakfast (B) and lunch/dinner (LD). One hundred and seventy nine healthy young women were selected and distributed into three groups according to their iron status measured by serum ferritin: < 15, 15-30 or > 30 ng/mL. Results: the reproducibility of this FFQ was very high (Spearman coefficient > 0.500, p < 0.001 for all variables). Red meat and alcoholic beverages consumption was positively associated with ferritin, while citric fruits- LD and nuts-LD were negatively associated (p < 0.05). Citric fruits-LD was negatively associated with red meat (p < 0.05) and positively with legumes, fish, salad, vegetables, foods fortified with fiber, other fruits (p < 0.001) and brown bread (p < 0.05). The consumption of fruit juices with breakfast was lower in women with ferritin <15 ng/ml compared to ferritin 15-30 ng/ml. Conclusion: this questionnaire is simple and reproducible. Red meat is the main dietary factor related with higher iron status in young women, thus its influence on iron absorption compared to other enhancers and inhibitors is highlighted.

Keywords : Food frequency questionnaire; Iron; Bioavailability; Iron deficiency; Diet.

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