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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 228-234
Adaptation of locally available portion sizes for food frequency questionnaires in nutritional epidemiological studies: How much difference does it make?

1 Department of Food and Nutrition, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
2 The INCLEN Trust International, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Narendra Kumar Arora
The INCLEN Trust International, 2nd Floor, F - 1/5, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-I, New Delhi - 110 020
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.183596

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Introduction: There is need for employing strategies to minimize measurement errors while administering semi-quantitative FFQ. The current study was planned to adapt and standardize locally available portion sizes for semi-quantitative FFQ to improve its validity and document the process of standardization of portion sizes. Methodology: The study was conducted in 9 villages of the INCLEN-SOMAARTH DDESS (Demographic, Development and Environmental Surveillance Site), Palwal district, Haryana, India. The subjects in these nine villages are part of a cohort study to assess the interaction between societal and household factors with food intake and physical activity of children. Systematic utensil survey was undertaken in 3 randomly chosen households per village i.e. 27 households and the portion sizes were derived from a total of 74 serving utensils. The derived sizes were classified as small (240 ml), medium (320 ml) and large (600 ml). The semi-quantitative FFQ with locally derived portion sizes was then administered to 63 children in 6-12 year age group. Results: The volume of food measured by the reference portion sizes generally being employed in the national surveys, would have been underestimated the food consumed by the child by 55-60% as compared to what was being consumed by the children in the study area. The correlation between food intake assessed by 24-hr recall method and FFQ using derived (local) portion sizes was better as compared to that obtained with the semi-quantitative FFQ done with reference portions. Conclusion: In conclusion, local portion size adaptation of FFQ for semi-quantification is useful to mitigate measurement errors associated with this technique.

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