Development of a Food Frequency Questionnaire for Assessing Dietary Intake in Children and Adolescents in South America

Luisa Saravia, Laura I. González-Zapata, Tara Rendo-Urteaga, Jamile Ramos, Tatiana Sadalla Collese, Isabel Bove, Carlos Delgado, Florencia Tello, Iris Iglesia, Ederson Dassler Gonçalves Sousa, Augusto César Ferreira De Moraes, Heráclito Barbosa Carvalho, Luis A. Moreno

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12 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to describe the development of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to assess dietary intake in South American children and adolescents. Methods: A total of 345 children (aged 3-10 years) and 357 adolescents (aged 11-17 years) were included for analysis. The FFQ was designed to be self-administered and to assess dietary intake over the past 3 months. It was developed in Spanish and translated into Portuguese. Multiple approaches were considered to compile the food list, and 11 food groups were included. A food photo booklet was produced as supporting material. Results: The FFQ items maintained a common core list among centers (47 items) and country-specific foods. The FFQ for Buenos Aires and Lima had a total of 63 items; there were 55 items for the FFQ in Medelin, 60 items for Montevideo, 58 items for Santiago, 67 items for Sao Paulo, and 68 items for Teresina. Alcohol was also incorporated in the adolescents' FFQ. Conclusions: We developed a semiquantitative, culturally adapted FFQ to assess dietary intake in children and adolescents in South America. It has an optimal size allowing its completion in a high proportion of the population; therefore, it can be used in epidemiological studies with South American children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S31-S40
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding agencies: LS is supported by a doctoral scholarship from the Carolina Foundation. TRU is supported by a postdoctoral scholarship from the São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP (proc. 2014/25233-0). TSC is supported by a doctoral scholarship from FAPESP (proc. 2016/13922-1). ACFDeM is supported by a postdoctoral scholarship from the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development, CNPq (proc. 313772/2014-2), and FAPESP (proc. 2014/13367-2 and 2015/14319-4). LAM is supported by a visiting professor scholarship from FAPESP (proc. 2015/11406-3). HBC is supported by a grant from FAPESP (proc. 2014/11468-6) and received Research Grant for Scientific Publication Paper from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP; proc 2017/16539-7). The SAYCARE study was supported mainly by the Brazilian Government from CNPq (proc. 471266/2013-2) and the São Paulo State Government from FAPESP (proc. 2014/11468-6). The SAYCARE study has also been cofunded by the following other agencies in the other countries: (1) Collaborative Projects Fund, Instituto Nacional de Salud del Niño Lima; (2) Sustainability Strategy 2014-2015 at the University of Antioquia, Medelin, Colombia; (3) Secretary of University Extension and Student Welfare, University of Buenos Aires; and (4) European Regional Development Fund (MICINN-FEDER) to the GENUD Research Group. Author contributions: ACFDeM and HBC were involved in the conducting the design and funding of the study and critically reviewed the manuscript. LS, LIGZ, TRU, JR, TSC, IB, CD, FT, and LAM developed the FFQ. LS, IB, and LAM supervised the data analysis and interpretation. LS, LIGZ, TRU, TSC, FT and EDGS performed data collection. LS and LAM were involved in writing the first draft of the paper, II contributed to critical review, and all authors contributed to the writing and finally approved the submitted and published versions. Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest. Received: 9 June 2017; Accepted: 19 December 2017; Published online 21 February 2018. doi:10.1002/oby.22114


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