Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.51(1) > 1081562

J Nutr Health. 2018 Feb;51(1):87-102. Korean.
Published online February 28, 2018.
© 2018 The Korean Nutrition Society
Development of NQ-E, Nutrition Quotient for Korean elderly: item selection and validation of factor structure
Min-Jae Chung,1 Tong-Kyung Kwak,1 Hye-Young Kim,2 Myung-Hee Kang,3 Jung-Sug Lee,4 Hae Rang Chung,5 Sehyug Kwon,6 Ji-Yun Hwang,7 and Young-Sun Choi8
1Department of Food and Nutrition, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Yongin University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 17092, Korea.
3Department of Food and Nutrition, Hannam University, Daejeon 34430, Korea.
4Department of Food and Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Korea.
5Nutrition for the Future Inc., Seoul 08788, Korea.
6Department of Statistics, Hannam University, Daejeon 34430, Korea.
7Department of Foodservice Management and Nutrition, Sangmyung University, Seoul 03016, Korea.
8Department of Food and Nutrition, Daegu University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38453, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-53-850-6833, Email:
Received January 12, 2018; Revised February 01, 2018; Accepted February 08, 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.



The purpose of this study was to develop a valid instrument for measuring the dietary quality and behaviors of Korean elderly.


The development of the Nutrition Quotient for Elderly (NQ-E) was conducted in three steps: item generation, item reduction, and validation. The 41 items of the NQ-E checklist were derived from a systematic literature review, expert in-depth interviews, statistical analyses of the fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, and national nutrition policies and recommendations. Pearson's correlation was used to determine the level of agreement between the questionnaires and nutrient intake level, and 24 items were selected for a nationwide survey. A total of 1,000 nationwide elderly subjects completed the checklist questionnaire. The construct validity of the NQ-E was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis, LISREL.


The nineteen checklist items were used as final items for NQ-E. Checklist items were composed of four-factors: food behavior (6 items), balance (4 items), diversity (6 items), and moderation (3 items). The standardized path coefficients were used as the weights of the items. The NQ-E and four-factor scores were calculated according to the obtained weights of the questionnaire items.


NQ-E would be a useful tool for assessing the food behavior and dietary quality of the elderly.

Keywords: nutrition quotient for the elderly; NQ-E; food behavior; dietary quality; checklist


Fig. 1
Process of NQ-E development. 1) FBC, Food Behavior Checklist
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Fig. 2
Comparison of percentage of nutrient intake of the elderly from the pilot study to recommended nutrient intake (RNI) or adequate intake (AI) according to NQ-E score four-grade criterion. a,b: Means with different alphabets are significantly different by Duncan's multiple-range test (p < 0.05).
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Table 1
Checklist items selected for the pilot survey
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Table 2
Items selected for a nationwide survey checklist
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Table 3
Results of exploratory factor analysis of the 19 items selected by LISREL analysis (n = 1,000)
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Table 4
Weights and path coefficients of four-factor structure model
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Table 5
NQ-E score and group score calculation using response point of the checklist
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Table 7
NQ-E 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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