Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.49(5) > 1081462

J Nutr Health. 2016 Oct;49(5):378-394. Korean.
Published online October 31, 2016.
© 2016 The Korean Nutrition Society
Development of nutrition quotient for Korean preschoolers (NQ-P): Item selection and validation of factor structure
Jung-Sug Lee,1 Myung-Hee Kang,2 Tong-Kyung Kwak,3 Hae Rang Chung,4 Sehyug Kwon,5 Hye-Young Kim,6 Ji-Yun Hwang,7 and Young-Sun Choi8
1Department of Food & Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Korea.
2Department of Food & Nutrition, Hannam University, Daejeon 34430, Korea.
3Department of Food & Nutrition, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea.
4Nutrition for the Future Inc., Seoul 08788, Korea.
5Department of Statistics, Hannam University, Daejeon 34430, Korea.
6Department of Food & Nutrition, Yongin University, Yongin 17092, Korea.
7Department of Foodservice Management and Nutrition, Sangmyung University, Seoul 03016, Korea.
8Department of Food & Nutrition, Daegu University, Gyeongsan 38453, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-53-850-6833, Email:
Received August 19, 2016; Revised September 02, 2016; Accepted September 23, 2016.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Screening of preschool-age children for nutrition programs to improve dietary intake and behaviors requires cost-effective and easily administered validated assessment tools. The purpose of this study was to develop a parent/caregiver-administered instrument for measuring diet quality and behaviors of preschoolers as a nutrition quotient for preschoolers (NQ-P).


Development of NQ-P was carried out in three steps: item generation, item reduction, and validation. The 24-h dietary record was selected as the gold standard reference tool. The 38 items of the NQ-P checklist were derived from a systematic literature review, expert in-depth interviews, statistical analysis of the fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, and national nutrition policies and recommendations. Self-administered questionnaires were delivered to parents who recorded 24-h dietary intakes of 100 responders aged 3~5 yr. Pearson's correlation was used to measure the level of agreement between questionnaires. Item reduction was performed, and 20 items were selected based on survey results, expert reviews, and priorities of national nutrition policy and recommendations. The 412 nationwide subjects sampled through daycare centers completed the 20-item checklist questionnaire. The construct validity of the NQ-P was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis, LISREL.


After analyses of exploratory factors, NQ-P items identified three dimensions of diet (balance, moderation, and environment). The three-factor structure accounted for 49.28% of the total variance. Standardized path coefficients were used as weights of the items. The NQ-P and three-factor scores of the subjects were calculated by the obtained weights of the questionnaire items.


A food behavior checklist for preschoolers' NQ would be a useful and suitable instrument for evaluating nutrition adequacy and dietary quality of Korean preschoolers.

Keywords: preschoolers' nutrition quotient (NQ-P); food behavior; dietary quality; checklist


Fig. 1
Process of NQ-P development. 1) FBC, food behavior checklist; 2) DR, dietary record
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Fig. 2
Comparison of percentage of nutrient intake of the children to recommended nutrient intake (RNI) or adequate intake (AI) according to NQ-P score four-grade criterion of samples from the pilot survey. a b : Different alphabets indicate significant differences by Duncan's multiple test (p < 0.05).
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Table 1
Checklist items selected for pilot survey
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Table 2
Items selected for a nationwide survey checklist and selection rationales
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Table 3
Results of exploratory factor analysis of the 14 items selected by LISREL analysis (n = 412)
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Table 4
Weights and path coefficients of three-factor structure model
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Table 5
NQ-P score and group score calculation using response point of the checklist
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Table 6
Nutrition quotient checklist for preschoolers
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Table 7
NQ-P score range by the four-grade criterion
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This research was supported by a grant (14162MFDS126) from Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in 2014.

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