Measurement Error Affecting Web- and Paper-Based Dietary Assessment Instruments: Insights from the Multi-Cohort Eating and Activity Study for Understanding Reporting Error

Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, Richard P. Troiano, Brian Barrett, Christopher Cunningham, Amy F. Subar, Yikyung Park, Heather R. Bowles, Laurence S. Freedman, Victor Kipnis, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, Nancy Potischman, Donna Spielgelman, David J. Baer, Dale A. Schoeller, Kevin W. Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Few biomarker-based validation studies have examined error in online self-report dietary assessment instruments, and food records (FRs) have been considered less than food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) and 24-hour recalls (24HRs). We investigated measurement error in online and paper-based FFQs, online 24HRs, and paper-based FRs in 3 samples drawn primarily from 3 cohorts, comprising 1,393 women and 1,455 men aged 45-86 years. Data collection occurred from January 2011 to October 2013. Attenuation factors and correlation coefficients between reported and true usual intake for energy, protein, sodium, potassium, and respective densities were estimated using recovery biomarkers. Across studies, average attenuation factors for energy were 0.07, 0.07, and 0.19 for a single FFQ, 24HR, and FR, respectively. Correlation coefficients for energy were 0.24, 0.23, and 0.40, respectively. Excluding energy, the average attenuation factors across nutrients and studies were 0.22 for a single FFQ, 0.22 for a single 24HR, and 0.51 for a single FR. Corresponding correlation coefficients were 0.31, 0.34, and 0.53, respectively. For densities (nutrient expressed relative to energy), the average attenuation factors across studies were 0.37, 0.17, and 0.50, respectively. The findings support prior research suggesting different instruments have unique strengths that should be leveraged in epidemiologic research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1139
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume191
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • 24-hour recall
  • dietary assessment
  • food frequency questionnaire
  • food record
  • recovery biomarkers
  • validation

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