Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.51(1) > 1081546

J Nutr Health. 2018 Feb;51(1):103-119. Korean.
Published online February 28, 2018.
© 2018 The Korean Nutrition Society
Development and relative validity of semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire for Korean adults
Sohye Kim,1,4,* Jung Sug Lee,2,* Kyung Hee Hong,3 Hye Sun Yeom,4 Yeon Seo Nam,5 Ju Young Kim,6 and Yoo Kyung Park1
1Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 17104, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707 Korea.
3Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dongseo University, Pusan 47011, Korea.
4Nutrition Care Services, Seoul National University of Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi 13620, Korea.
5Nutrition Department VHS Medical Center, Seoul 05368, Korea.
6Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University of Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi 13620, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-31-201-3816, Email:

*These authors contributed equally to this article.

Received September 13, 2017; Revised November 06, 2017; Accepted January 23, 2018.

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.



This study was implemented to develop and validate the semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (SQ-FFQ) to assess energy, carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, and vitamins as well as fatty acids and alcohol in Korean adults.


The SQ-FFQ consisted of 88 food items, and 12 food groups were selected based on information of frequently consumed foods from the Korean Health and Nutrition Examination survey. Each portion size was categorized as one of three amounts: small (0.5 times), medium (1 time), and large (1.5 times). A total of 111 subjects finished 3-day diet records and the SQ-FFQ. The relative validity of SQ-FFQ was assessed by comparison with the 3-day diet records.


The mean nutrient intakes obtained from the SQ-FFQ were estimated to be greater than those of the two 3-day dietary records. Spearman's correlation coefficient between the two methods was the highest for energy (r = 0.583; p < 0.001) and lowest for saturated fatty acid (r = 0.121). Correlation coefficients were energy (r = 0.583; p < 0.001), carbohydrates (r = 0.500; p < 0.001), protein (r = 0.466; p < 0.001), fat (r = 0.411; p < 0.001), dietary fiber (r = 0.467; p < 0.001), alcohol (r = 0.527; p < 0.001), calcium (r = 0.409; p < 0.001), phosphorus (r = 0.499; p < 0.001), potassium (r = 0.418; p < 0.001), magnesium (r = 0.427; p < 0.001), and zinc (r = 0.464; p < 0.001), respectively, for all subjects.


The developed SQ-FFQ in this study seems to be useful for estimating nutritional status, particularly energy, carbohydrates, protein, fat, dietary fiber, alcohol, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc of Korean adults.

Keywords: relative validity; 3-day diet records; Semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (SQ-FFQ)


Fig. 1
Diagram to develop semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.
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Table 1
Lists of food items of semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires and standards of classification in each food group
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Table 2
General characteristics of the study subjects
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Table 3
Mean and standard deviation of selected nutrients measured by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and 3-day dietary records (3DRs)
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Table 4
Spearman correlation coefficient between nutrients measured by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and 3-day dietary records (3DRs)
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