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The food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) can be an efficient tool to evaluate dietary intake in large, population-based studies, especially for specific foods. The objective of this study was to validate the assessment of soy and isoflavone (daidzein and genistein) intakes, measured by an FFQ, by comparing intakes with serum isoflavone concentrations.
Design and setting:
Soy and isoflavone intakes and serum isoflavone concentrations were determined as part of a case–control study of dietary factors and risks of benign breast disease and breast cancer. The FFQ, administered during an in-person interview, included six soy-specific line items. Blood was drawn within one week of FFQ completion.
In total, 1823 women living in Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
In this population, soybean milk, fresh bean curd and other bean foods were eaten once per week, and fermented bean curd, fried bean curd puff and soybeans were eaten less than once per week. A significant linear trend (P > 0.01) in serum isoflavone concentrations across increasing categories of soy and isoflavone intakes was observed, indicating that soy and isoflavone intakes, measured by the FFQ, well distinguished serum isoflavone concentrations. Linear trends were also observed in both case and control groups in stratified analyses, suggesting little differential bias by case–control status.
The results suggest that the FFQ provides a useful marker of soy food consumption and isoflavone exposure in this population.
To examine associations of biomarkers of nutrient intake with overall diet quality.
A convenience sample of 102 healthy postmenopausal women in Seattle, Washington (USA).
Design and method:
Participants attended a study centre where they provided fasting blood specimens and completed a 122-item validated food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Data from the FFQ were used to calculate Diet Quality Index (DQI) scores and categorise women as having diets of excellent, good, fair or poor quality. The blood specimens were analysed for nine phospholipid fatty acids (as percentage of total) and serum concentrations of vitamin C, α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, vitamin B12, folate and six carotenoids. Multivariate linear regression was used to model associations of the nutrient biomarkers with DQI scores.
Compared with women with poor-quality diets, women with excellent diets, as measured by the DQI, had higher plasma concentrations of vitamin C (P for trend = 0.01), α-tocopherol (P for trend = 0.02) and β-cryptoxanthin (P for trend = 0.03). Women with excellent diets also had lower proportions of plasma phospholipid fatty acids of two potentially atherogenic fatty acids: stearic acid (P for trend = 0.01) and behenic acid (P for trend = 0.03). A group of six biomarkers explained a moderate proportion of the total variability in DQI scores (36%).
These objective measures of dietary intake support the use of the DQI as a useful tool to measure dietary patterns.
To determine whether a short set of questions about foods in the household can provide information about the fat-related dietary behaviour of individual household members in less-acculturated Chinese populations.
The study population included 244 adult females of Chinese ethnicity in Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Bilingual interviewers collected information on the presence of 14 high-fat foods and seven reduced-fat foods in the household. Respondents were also asked about the consumption of foods and behaviour reflective of adoption of Western dietary practices, fat-related dietary behaviour, changes in consumption of high-fat foods since immigration, and sociodemographic characteristics.
Although this was a less-acculturated sample, many households had Western foods such as butter (58%), lunchmeats (36%), snack chips (43%), and 1% or skim milk (48%). Households with respondents who were younger, married, employed outside the home, and lived with young children had significantly more high-fat foods, while high education and longer percentage of life in North America were significantly associated with having more reduced-fat foods (P ≤ = 0.05). Participants living in households with more high-fat foods had higher-fat dietary behaviour than those with fewer high-fat foods (fat-related dietary behaviour score, 1.54 versus 1.28; P < 0.001). Women in households with more reduced-fat foods had a significantly decreased consumption of high-fat foods since immigration compared with those in households with fewer reduced-fat foods (P < 0.001). Western dietary acculturation was higher among women in households both with more high-fat foods and more reduced-fat food counterparts (P ≤ 0.05).
Our inventory of household foods was strongly associated with current dietary behaviour, changes in food consumption, and westernization of dietary patterns. This simple, practical measure may be a useful alternative dietary assessment tool in less-acculturated Chinese populations.
To develop and validate a new dietary assessment tool, the focused recall, and to use this to measure co-consumption of carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables with savory snacks.
Participants completed a telephone-administered focused recall and a 24-hour recall on the same day. We compared mean estimates of fruit, vegetable, savory snack and carotenoid consumption from both instruments. We also assessed the ability of each method to measure co-consumption of carotenoids with full-fat, reduced/non-fat and olestra-containing savory snacks.
Setting and subjects:
Data are from 245 male and 244 female adult participants in the Olestra Post-Marketing Surveillance Study (OPMSS).
The mean (± SD) intake of fruit was 1.8 (1.1) servings day−1 from the focused recall and 1.6 (1.4) servings day−1 from the 24-hour recall (r = 0.56). The mean vegetable intake was 2.1 (1.3) and 2.2 (1.7) servings day−1 (r = 0.42), respectively, from each instrument. Estimates of total carotenoid and β-carotene intake were within 5% of each other (r = 0.63 for total carotenoids and r = 0.70 for β-carotene). Both instruments estimated that approximately 14% of total daily carotenoids were co-consumed with savory snacks (r = 0.63).
The focused recall provides valid information about fruit, vegetable and savory snack consumption and allows researchers to examine associated eating patterns more easily.
To evaluate the accuracy of a simplified inventory procedure for assessing nutrient intake from vitamin and mineral supplements.
Participants brought their supplements to a clinic. An interviewer conducted the supplement inventory procedure, which consisted of recording data on the type of multiple vitamin and single supplements used. For the multiple vitamins, the interviewer recorded the exact dose for a subset of nutrients (vitamin C, calcium, selenium). For other nutrients, we imputed the dose in multiple vitamins. The dose of all single supplements was recorded. Labels of the supplements were photocopied and we transcribed the exact nutrient label data for the criterion measure. Spearman correlation coefficients were used to assess precision of nutrient intakes from the simplified inventory compared to the criterion measure.
Data are from 104 adult vitamin supplement users in Washington state.
Correlation coefficients between nutrient intake estimated from the simplified inventory compared to the criterion measure were high (0.8–1.0) for those nutrients (vitamin C, calcium, selenium) for which the interviewer recorded the exact dose contained in multiple vitamins. However, for nutrients for which imputations were made regarding dose in multiple vitamins, correlation coefficients ranged from good (0.8 for vitamin E) to poor (0.3 for iron).
The simplified inventory is rapid (4–5 min) and practical for large-scale studies. The precision of nutrient estimates using this procedure was variable, although excellent for the subset of nutrients for which the dose was recorded exactly. This study illustrates many of the challenges of collecting high quality supplement data.
This report examines how sources of fat and patterns of fat-related dietary habits differed between black, Hispanic and white women participating in a randomized trial of a low-fat diet intervention.
The intervention consisted of group sessions, which met weekly for 6 weeks, biweekly for 6 weeks and monthly for 9 months, and included didactic nutrition education and activities to provide motivation for sustained dietary change. Outcomes included total fat and fat from nine food groups from a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and a summary scale and five subscales that measure fat-related dietary habits.
Data are from 1702 post-menopausal women, recruited from clinical centres in Atlanta, Birmingham and Miami, with dietary assessments at baseline and 6 months post-randomization.
Total fat intake was similar across race/ethnic groups at baseline, yet there were many differences in sources of fat and fat-related dietary habits. For example, blacks consumed less fat from dairy foods and more fat from meats than whites. Effects of the intervention on total fat intake or the summary fat-related dietary habits scale did not differ across race/ethnicity groups. There were, however, many differences in how the intervention affected sources of fat and fat-related dietary habits. For example, the intervention effect for added fats (e.g. butter and salad dressings) was −8.9 g for blacks and −12.0 g for whites (P < 0.05). The intervention effect for adopting low-fat meat purchasing and preparation methods was larger for blacks than whites, and the intervention effect for replacing high-fat foods with fruits and vegetables was larger for Hispanics than whites.
This study demonstrates that, if properly designed, a single nutrition intervention programme can work well even in groups with culturally diverse dietary patterns.
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