Food frequency questionnaire as a screening test

Yoshitaka Tsubono, Keiko Ogawa, Yoko Watanabe, Yoshikazu Nishino, Ichiro Tsuji, Takao Watanabe, Haruo Nakatsuka, Nobuko Takahashi, Mieko Kawamura, Shigeru Hisamichi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


We assessed the accuracy of a 141-item food frequency questionnaire as a screening test to detect high or low consumption of nutrients associated with cancer. Fifty-five men and 58 women participating in two population-based cohort studies in Miyagi, Japan, provided four three-day diet records over a one-year period and subsequently completed the questionnaire twice with a one-year interval. Pearson correlation coefficients between 17 nutrients measured by the diet records and the first questionnaire ranged from 0.24 to 0.85 (median 0.43), and those between the two questionnaires ranged from 0.47 to 0.91 (median 0.68). The sensitivity and specificity of the questionnaire for detecting high-alcohol, high-fat, low-calcium, and low-ascorbic acid consumers were 86.7% and 96.7%, 50.0% and 85.7%, 48.8% and 76.4%, and 61.9% and 70.0%, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic curves indicated comparable performance of the questionnaire and a three-day diet record, regarded as another screening test. The questionnaire performed poorly for other nutrients. The results indicate that our questionnaire is reasonably reproducible, comparable with the diet records, and useful as a screening test to detect high or low consumers of several nutrients associated with cancer for subsequent enrollment in dietary intervention trials or dietary counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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