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A standardised, national, 160-item FFQ, the FFQ-NL 1.0, was recently developed for Dutch epidemiological studies. The objective was to validate the FFQ-NL 1.0 against multiple 24-h recalls (24hR) and recovery and concentration biomarkers. The FFQ-NL 1.0 was filled out by 383 participants (25–69 years) from the Nutrition Questionnaires plus study. For each participant, one to two urinary and blood samples and one to five (mean 2·7) telephone-based 24hR were available. Group-level bias, correlation coefficients, attenuation factors, de-attenuated correlation coefficients and ranking agreement were assessed. Compared with the 24hR, the FFQ-NL 1.0 estimated the intake of energy and macronutrients well. However, it underestimated intakes of SFA and trans-fatty acids and alcohol and overestimated intakes of most vitamins by >5 %. The median correlation coefficient was 0·39 for energy and macronutrients, 0·30 for micronutrients and 0·30 for food groups. The FFQ underestimated protein intake by an average of 16 % and K by 5 %, relative to their urinary recovery biomarkers. Attenuation factors were 0·44 and 0·46 for protein and K, respectively. Correlation coefficients were 0·43–0·47 between (fatty) fish intake and plasma EPA and DHA and 0·24–0·43 between fruit and vegetable intakes and plasma carotenoids. In conclusion, the overall validity of the newly developed FFQ-NL 1.0 was acceptable to good. The FFQ-NL 1.0 is well suited for future use within Dutch cohort studies among adults.
Folate is required for 1-carbon metabolism and deficiency in folate leads to megaloblastic anemia. Low levels of folate have been associated with increased risk of vascular disease. To investigate whether RDA of folate are met, habitual folate intake needs to be assessed reliably. We developed a FFQ to specifically measure folate intake over the previous 3 months in elderly people in the Netherlands. Major sources of folate intake, i.e. foods contributing to at least 80 % of the average folate intake, were identified through an analysis of the second Dutch Food Consumption Survey for the sub-population of men and women aged 50–70. In 2000 and 2001, folate intake was estimated with this questionnaire in 1286 individuals aged 50–75 years. Concentrations of serum and erythrocyte folate served as biomarkers with which relative validity of the questionnaire was assessed. The same FFQ was repeated after 3 years in 803 subjects in order to assess long-term reproducibility. Mean folate intake was estimated to be 196 (sd 69) μg/d. Spearman correlation coefficients between folate intake and serum and erythrocyte concentrations were 0·14 (P < 0·01) and 0·05 (P = 0·06) respectively. Spearman correlations between folate intakes measured at baseline and after 3 years were 0·58 (P < 0·01). 47 % of the participants were classified in the same quartiles on the two occasions. Our FFQ showed a weak correlation between folate intake and blood folate concentrations and reproducibility was acceptable. This FFQ is able to rank subjects according to their folate intake.
The aim of this study was to identify the level of isoflavone intake (total isoflavones, daidzein and genistein) in four European countries: Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK. For this purpose national food composition databases of isoflavone content were created in a comparable way, using the Vegetal Estrogens in Nutrition and the Skeleton (VENUS) analytical data base as a common basis, and appropriate food consumption data were selected. The isoflavone intake in Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK is on average less than 1 mg/d. Small groups of consumers of soya foods could be identified in Ireland, The Netherlands and the UK. The estimated intake levels are low compared with those found in typical Asian diets (∼20–100 mg/d) and also low compared with levels where physiological effects are expected (60–100 mg/d). The results (including a subgroup analysis of soya product consumers) showed that such levels are difficult to achieve with the European diets studied here.
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