Public Health Nutrition

HOT TOPIC – Assessment and methodology

The reliability and validity of a short FFQ among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rural children

Josephine D Gwynna1 c1, Victoria M Flooda2a3, Catherine A D’Estea1, John R Attiaa1, Nicole Turnera4, Janine Cochranea5 and John H Wiggersa1 on behalf of the Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project study team

a1 Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia

a2 Cluster of Public Health Nutrition, Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

a3 School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, The University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

a4 Durri Aboriginal Medical Service Corporation, Kempsey, Australia

a5 Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service, Taree, Australia

Abstract

Objective To determine the reproducibility and validity of a short FFQ (SFFQ) for Australian rural children aged 10 to 12 years, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Design In this cross-sectional study participants completed the SFFQ on two occasions and three 24 h recalls. Concurrent validity was established by comparing results of the first SFFQ against food recalls; reproducibility was established by comparing the two SFFQ.

Setting The north coast of New South Wales in the Australian summer of late 2005.

Subjects Two hundred and forty-one children (ninety-two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and 100 boys) completed two SFFQ and were included in the reproducibility study; of these, 205 participants with a mean age of 10·8 (sd 0·7) years took part in the validity study.

Results The SFFQ showed moderate to good reproducibility among all children with kappa coefficients for repeated measures between 0·41 and 0·80. Eighteen of twenty-three questions demonstrated good validity against the mean of the 24 h recalls, with statistically significant increasing trends (P ≤ 0·05) for mean daily weight and/or frequency as survey response categories increased. A similar number of short questions showed good validity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children as for their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Conclusions Many short questions in this SFFQ are able to discriminate between different categories of food intake and provide information on relative intake within the given population. They can be used to monitor and/or evaluate population-wide health programmes, including those with rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

(Received August 26 2009)

(Accepted June 01 2010)

(Online publication July 16 2010)

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: Email Josephine.Gwynn@newcastle.edu.au

Footnotes

Other members of the Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project study team: Wayne T Smith, Daniel J Barker (Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia); Laurie J Clay, Stephen V Blunden (Durri Aboriginal Medical Service Corporation, Kempsey, Australia); Darren Barton (Awabakal Aboriginal Medical Service, Hamilton, Australia); Robin Roberts (Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service, Taree, Australia).

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