Menu Close

Is the Food Frequency Questionnaire Suitable to Assess Micronutrient Intake Adequacy for Infants, Children and Adolescents?


Roman-Vinas, Blanca; Ortiz-Andrellucchi, Adriana; Mendez, Michelle A.; Sanchez-Villegas, Almudena; Quintana, Luis Pena; Aznar, Luis A. Moreno; Hermoso, Maria; & Serra-Majem, Lluis (2010). Is the Food Frequency Questionnaire Suitable to Assess Micronutrient Intake Adequacy for Infants, Children and Adolescents?. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 6(Suppl. 2), 112-121. PMCID: PMC3486953


The objective of this study was to review how accurately micronutrient intakes in infants, children, and adolescents were assessed with validated food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) to which study quality criteria had been applied. The methodology and the analysis presented were based on several research activities carried out within the European Micronutrient Recommendation Aligned Network of Excellence. The analysis was limited to vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B(1)(2), folate, selenium, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and copper. A search strategy was defined in MEDLINE and EMBASE literature for studies validating FFQs that estimated intakes of micronutrients being evaluated. Identification of at least three validation studies per micronutrient was required to be included in the analysis. A total score for each nutrient was calculated from the mean of the correlation coefficients weighted by the quality of the study, which included a quality score that was based on sample size, statistics used, data collection procedure, consideration of seasonality and supplement use, an adjustment/weighting of the correlation coefficient according to the quality score, and a rating of the adjusted/weighted correlation. When the mean weighted correlation coefficient was equal to or higher than 0.5, micronutrient intake was considered as adequately estimated. Sufficient validation studies were identified for vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B(1)(2), iron, zinc, and calcium for infants and pre-school children, and vitamin C, calcium, and iron for older children and adolescents. Results showed that the FFQ was a good instrument for estimating intake of vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and iron in infants and pre-school children, and for estimating calcium and vitamin C in children and adolescents.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Maternal & Child Nutrition


Roman-Vinas, Blanca
Ortiz-Andrellucchi, Adriana
Mendez, Michelle A.
Sanchez-Villegas, Almudena
Quintana, Luis Pena
Aznar, Luis A. Moreno
Hermoso, Maria
Serra-Majem, Lluis