How well are we validating food frequency questionnaires that measure dietary iron intakes of Australian and New Zealand adults?


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Abstract

Aim:The availability of high-quality, validated food frequency questionnaires is useful for the conduct of robust population dietary iron-related research. This review aimed to evaluate the validation quality of recently validated food frequency questionnaires that measure iron intakes in Australian or New Zealand adults.Methods:Articles validating food frequency questionnaires that measured iron intakes in Australian or New Zealand adults, published from 1995, were sourced from a range of databases using standard search terms. Eligible validation studies were assessed for validation quality using recommendations from international reviews of food frequency questionnaire validation studies, and a quality score was calculated.Results:Nine studies validating food frequency questionnaires were located. Seven of the nine studies had achieved at least an acceptable quality validation score. More than half of the international validation recommendations were met in at least half of the eligible studies. Studies generally did not report or consider nutrient supplementation, did not validate the food frequency questionnaire against a biomarker, nor measured survey repeatability.Conclusions:The majority of food frequency questionnaire validation studies had achieved at least an acceptable quality validation score; however, some food frequency questionnaires had undergone a higher quality validation process than others. Applying the international validation recommendations to future validation studies may improve the quality of the food frequency questionnaire validation process and, potentially, population dietary iron-related research.

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