Validity and Reliability of a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) to Assess Dietary Intake of Preschool Children

Yatiman Noor Hafizah , Lee Choo Ang, Fendy Yap , Wan Nurul Najwa, Whye Lian Cheah, Talib Ruzita Abd, Farra Aidah Jumuddin , Denise Koh , Julia Ai Cheng Lee , Cecilia Essau, Sue Reeves, Carolyn Summerbell , Edward Leigh Gibson, Bee Koon Poh

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As there are few food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) to assess the dietary intake of preschool children, this study examined the validity and reliability of an FFQ for this purpose. A total of 210 preschoolers aged 4 to 6 years participated in the validation study, while a subsample of 66 participants joined the reliability study. The FFQ is modified from ToyBox-study and SEANUTS, and comprised 108 food items from 13 food 30 groups. A three-day estimated dietary record (3DR) was used as reference and reliability was assessed through a second administration of the FFQ (FFQ2), four weeks after the first administration (FFQ1). For the validation study, Spearman’s correlation coefficients showed moderate to high correlations (p<0.001) between FFQ and 3DR. Cross-classification of quartile analysis showed moderate agreement between the two methods. As for reliability, Spearman’s correlation coefficients showed moderate to high correlations (p<0.001) between FFQ1 and FFQ2. Cronbach’s alpha values (0.708 to 0.824) and intraclass correlation coefficients (0.710 to 0.826) showed good agreement between repeated FFQs. The results suggest that the FFQ has acceptable validity and good reliability. Hence, the FFQ can be used to assess preschool children’s food intake.

© 2019, The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2019


  • Child; Dietary Assessment; Diet Records; Food Frequency Questionnaire; Malaysia; Methodological Study; Preschool; Reliability; Validity

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