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Nutrición Hospitalaria

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


ESTEBAN-FIGUEROLA, Patricia; JARDI, Cristina; CANALS, Josefa  and  ARIJA, Victoria. Validation of a short food frequency questionnaire in small children. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2020, vol.37, n.1, pp.101-113.  Epub June 08, 2020. ISSN 1699-5198.


validated food frequency questionnaires in children are scarce, mostly long, and only provide data about food consumption.


the aim of this study was to evaluate the reproducibility and validity of a short food frequency questionnaire that estimates energy, nutritional intake, and the frequency of food consumption in children aged between 3 and 6 years.

Material and methods:

in 49 children (57 % boys), the reproducibility and validity of a frequency questionnaire with 41 items was assessed using Spearman's and intraclass correlations, both adjusted and not adjusted for energy. A 6-day record was used as a reference method.


reproducibility was high in food groups with correlations > 0.70 for most of them and between 0.5 and 0.7 for meat, fish, potatoes, sweets/soft drinks, and oil. For energy and nutrients correlations were > 0.9 and > 0.7, respectively. Validity was strong to moderate for foods with correlations > 0.7 (dairy and milk) and between 0.4 and 0.7 (sausages, eggs, yogur/cheese, vegetables and oil), and for nutrients with correlations > 0.5 (lipids, AGS, AGP, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin E and vitamin C) and between 0.3 and 0.5 (energy, starches, fiber, MUFA, cholesterol, sodium, magnesium, potassium, retinol, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and folates). All correlations were significant and increased after they had been adjusted for energy.


the short food frequency questionnaire for children between 3 and 6 years old has high reproducibility and good validity with results that are as good as those of long food frequency questionnaires.

Keywords : Food frequency questionnaire; Reproducibility; Validity; Children.

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