Diet validation research was conducted to compare the respondents' reporting of dietary intake in a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) with intake reported in food recalls. Because the population received annual salary increments that could modify food intake, diet validation studies (DVSs) were conducted during two time intervals.
A 99-item FFQ was administered by an interviewer twice in a 1-year interval, and responses to each FFQ item were compared with 28 days of interviewer-administered food recalls that were collected in four 1-week intervals during each season of 1992/93. The second validation study in 1995/96 had a similar design to the earlier one.
A prospective cohort study of lung cancer among tin miners in China was initiated in 1992, with dietary and other risk factors updated annually.
Among a cohort of high risk tin miners for lung cancer, two different samples (n = 141 in 1992/93, and n = 113 in 1995/96) for each diet validation study were randomly selected from four mine units, that were representative of all worker units.
Miners reported a significantly higher average frequency of intake of foods in the food recalls than the FFQ, with few exceptions. Deattenuated Pearson correlation coefficients of the frequency of food intake between the FFQ and food recalls were in the range of –0.40 to 0.72 in both studies, with higher positive correlations for beverages and cereal staples than for animal protein sources, vegetables, fruits and legumes. The percentage of individuals with exact agreement in the extreme quartiles of intake in the food recalls and FFQ ranged from 0 to 100% in both studies.
Among Chinese miners, the range in correlations between the food recalls and the FFQ were due to: (i) market availability of foods during the food recall weeks compared to their annual reported intake in the FFQ; (ii) cultural perception of time; and (iii) differences in how the intake of mixed dishes and their multi-ingredient foods were reported in the recalls vs. the FFQ. The range in the percentage of agreement in the same quartiles and the changes in food intake over time may have implications for the analysis of the diet-disease relationship in this cohort.