Public Health Nutrition

Assessment and methodology

Relative validity of dietary patterns derived from a self-administered diet history questionnaire using factor analysis among Japanese adults

Hitomi Okuboa1a2, Kentaro Murakamia3, Satoshi Sasakia1a3 c1, Mi Kyung Kima4, Naoko Hirotaa5, Akiko Notsua6, Mitsuru Fukuia7 and Chigusa Datea8

a1 Department of Social and Preventive Epidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

a2 Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan

a3 Department of Social and Preventive Epidemiology, School of Public Health, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

a4 National Cancer Center Research Institute, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

a5 Department of Health and Nutritional Science, Faculty of Human Health Science, Matsumoto University, Matsumoto, Japan

a6 Food Science and Nutrition Department, Tottori College, Tottori, Japan

a7 Department of Statistics, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, Japan

a8 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Human Life and Environment, Nara Women’s University, Nara, Japan


Objective Although dietary pattern approaches derived from dietary assessment questionnaires are widely used, only a few studies in Western countries have reported the validity of this approach. We examined the relative validity of dietary patterns derived from a self-administered diet history questionnaire (DHQ) among Japanese adults.

Design The DHQ, assessing diet during the preceding month, and 4 d dietary records (DR) were collected in each season over one year. To derive dietary patterns, 145 food items in the DHQ and 1259 in the DR were classified into thirty-three predefined food groups, and entered into a factor analysis.

Setting Three areas in Japan; Osaka (urban), Nagano (rural inland) and Tottori (rural coastal).

Subjects A total of ninety-two Japanese women and ninety-two Japanese men aged 31–76 years.

Results We identified three dietary patterns (‘healthy’, ‘Western’ and ‘Japanese traditional’) in women and two (‘healthy’ and ‘Western’) in men, which showed a relatively similar direction and magnitude of factor loadings of food groups across the first and mean of four DHQ (DHQ1 and mDHQ, respectively) and 16 d DR. The Pearson correlation coefficients between DHQ1 and 16 d DR for the healthy, Western and Japanese traditional patterns in women were 0·57, 0·36 and 0·44, and for the healthy and Western patterns in men were 0·62 and 0·56, respectively. When mDHQ was examined, the correlation coefficients improved for women (0·45–0·69).

Conclusions Dietary patterns derived from the DHQ could be used for epidemiological studies as surrogates of those derived from DR.

(Received August 24 2009)

(Accepted December 07 2009)

(Online publication January 15 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Email