Public Health Nutrition

Research Paper

Validity and reliability of a calcium checklist in early elementary-school children

Lori Marcottea1, Erin Hennessya1, Johanna Dwyera2, Raymond R Hyatta1, Jeanne P Goldberga1, Elena N Naumovaa3 and Christina D Economosa1 c1

a1 Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA

a2 Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Francis Stern Nutrition Center, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA

a3 Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA


Objective To create, validate and assess the reliability of a checklist to measure calcium intake in children.

Design Calcium intakes from a checklist and parent-assisted 24-h dietary recall were compared. Checklist reliability was assessed separately.

Setting After-school programmes in the United States.

Subjects Forty-two children (18 males, 24 females, age = 8.0 ± 0.9 years) participated in the validation analysis and 49 children (28 males, 21 females, age = 7.5 ± 0.9 years) in the reliability analysis.

Results No differences in mean calcium intakes were found by method or gender. The checklist correlated well with recall among girls (r = 0.65, P = 0.01) but not boys (r = −0.33, P = 0.19). Agreement over time was above 80% for most foods.

Conclusion The calcium checklist is useful for assessing calcium intake among groups of 6–10-year-old children in settings that preclude parental assistance. More research is needed to improve accuracy among boys.

(Received June 29 2006)

(Accepted February 13 2007)


c1 Corresponding author: Email