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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

On-line version ISSN 2174-5145Print version ISSN 2173-1292


OLMEDO, Luciana; HENNING, María Florencia; GARCIA, Silvia Mónica  and  PELLON-MAISON, Magalí. Validation of a food frequency questionnaire to estimate free sugars and ultraprocessed food intake in Argentinian population. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2022, vol.26, n.2, pp.137-146.  Epub Dec 12, 2022. ISSN 2174-5145.


Chronic non-communicable diseases are highly prevalent in Argentina and the consumption of free sugars and ultra-processed foods is associated with their development. The aim of this study was to design and validate a food frequency questionnaire capable of estimating their intake.


A 211-item food frequency questionnaire called CFA-UP was designed, of which 122 were ultra-processed foods. Also, a chemical composition table was constructed, collecting information from the nutritional labels of packaged foods. The relative validation of the food frequency questionnaire was carried out through an analytical cross-sectional study on a healthy adult population, comparing the energy and nutrient intake obtained in the CFA-UP with that from a self-administered food record. The association and concordance between methods was evaluated at the individual and group level. Reproducibility was analyzed by comparing the intake at the beginning of the study and after three months.


Pearson correlation coefficient was good for total energy and nutrient intake, being acceptable for cholesterol. The cross-classification into tertiles of intake was accurate and the weighted Kappa coefficient was good for total energy and acceptable for nutrients. The percentage differences in intake were greater than 20% for carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fatty acids and fiber. The total sugar intake was 16.4 (DE:6.6) % of the total energy intake, the free sugar intake was 9.3 (DE:5.4) % and the ultra-processed food intake was 35.3 (DE:12.4) %.


The CFA-UP constitutes an adequate tool for the classification of individuals according to their energy, nutrient and food intake, including total sugars, free sugars and ultra-processed foods.

Keywords : Diet Surveys; Validation Study; Carbohydrates; Eating.

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