Journal Article

Adult Recall of Adolescent Diet: Reproducibility and Comparison with Maternal Reporting

Sonia S. Maruti, Diane Feskanich, Graham A. Colditz, A. Lindsay Frazier, Laura A. Sampson, Karin B. Michels, David J. Hunter, Donna Spiegelman and Walter C. Willett

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 1, pages 89-97
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwi019
Adult Recall of Adolescent Diet: Reproducibility and Comparison with Maternal Reporting

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Many cancers have long latency periods, and dietary factors in adolescence may plausibly affect cancer occurrence in adulthood. Because of a lack of prospective data, retrospective collection of data on adolescent diet is essential. The authors evaluated a 124-item high school food frequency questionnaire (HS-FFQ) assessing diet during high school (15–35 years in the past) that was completed in 1998 by 45,947 US women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) cohort. To assess reproducibility, the authors readministered the HS-FFQ approximately 4 years later to 333 of these women. The mean Pearson correlation for 38 nutrient intakes was 0.65 (range, 0.50–0.77), and the mean Spearman rank correlation for food intakes was 0.60 (range, 0.37–0.77). Current adult diet was only weakly correlated with recalled adolescent diet (for nutrient intakes, mean r = 0.20). For assessment of validity, 272 mothers of the NHSII participants were asked to report information on their daughters’ adolescent diets using the HS-FFQ. In this comparison, the mean Pearson correlation was 0.40 (range, 0.13–0.59) for nutrients, and the mean Spearman rank correlation for foods was 0.30 (range, 0.10–0.61). While further studies are warranted, these findings imply that this food frequency questionnaire provides a reasonable record of adolescent diet.

Keywords: adolescent; diet; mental recall; mothers; nutrition; questionnaires; reproducibility of results; HS-FFQ, high school food frequency questionnaire; NHSII, Nurses’ Health Study II.

Journal Article.  5807 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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