The validity of a web-based FFQ assessed by doubly labelled water and multiple 24-h recalls

Anine C. Medin*, Monica H. Carlsen, Catherine Hambly, John R. Speakman, Susanne Strohmaier, Lene F. Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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The aim of this study was to validate the estimated habitual dietary intake from a newly developed web-based FFQ (WebFFQ), for use in an adult population in Norway. In total, ninety-two individuals were recruited. Total energy expenditure (TEE) measured by doubly labelled water was used as the reference method for energy intake (EI) in a subsample of twenty-nine women, and multiple 24-h recalls (24HR) were used as the reference method for the relative validation of macronutrients and food groups in the entire sample. Absolute differences, ratios, crude and deattenuated correlations, cross-classifications, Bland-Altman plot and plots between misreporting of EI (EI-TEE) and the relative misreporting of food groups (WebFFQ-24HR) were used to assess the validity. Results showed that EI on group level was not significantly different from TEE measured by doubly labelled water (0·7 MJ/d), but ranking abilities were poor (r -0·18). The relative validation showed an overestimation for the majority of the variables using absolute intakes, especially for the food groups 'vegetables' and 'fish and shellfish', but an improved agreement between the test and reference tool was observed for energy adjusted intakes. Deattenuated correlation coefficients were between 0·22 and 0·89, and low levels of grossly misclassified individuals (0-3 %) were observed for the majority of the energy adjusted variables for macronutrients and food groups. In conclusion, energy estimates from the WebFFQ should be used with caution, but the estimated absolute intakes on group level and ranking abilities seem acceptable for macronutrients and most food groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1117
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number12
Early online date5 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

The authors thank Peter Thomson for conducting the laboratory
analysis on the DLW, and Helene Astrup and Ida Sofie Kaasa for
conducting telephone 24HR.
This study was funded by the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences,
University of Oslo, with supplementary funds from the
Throne Holst Nutrition Research Foundation. The funders had
no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article.
The authors’ roles in the study were as follows: A. C. M., C. H.,
J. R. S., L. F. A.: conception and design; A. C. M.: acquisition of
data; A. C. M., M. H. C., C. H., J. R. S., S. S., L. F. A.: analysis and
interpretation of data; A. C. M.: drafted the manuscript; A. C. M.,
M. H. C., C. H., J. R. S., S. S., L. F. A.: critically revised the
manuscript; L. F. A.: supervision and obtained funding.
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


  • Dietary assessments
  • Doubly labelled water
  • FFQ
  • Validation
  • Web-based FFQ


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