A three-day weighed food record and a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire are valid measures for assessing the folate and vitamin B-12 intakes of women aged 16 to 19 years

Tim Green, O. Brian Allen, Deborah L. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to validate a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and a 3-d weighed food record (3d-WFR) by comparing nutrient intakes estimated using these methods with serum folate, RBC folate and serum vitamin B-12 concentrations in 105 females aged 16-19 y. During an early morning clinic visit, subjects completed a self-administered, 116-item FFQ, blood was collected and they were trained to complete a 3d-WFR. Folate intakes as determined by the 3d-WFR (r = 0.65, P < 0.01) exhibited a stronger association with serum folate than did intakes from the FFQ (r = 0.48, P < 0.01) (P = 0.017). The correlations between folate intakes and RBC folate as determined by the FFQ (r = 0.42, P < 0.01) and 3d-WFR (r = 0.50, P < 0.01) methods did not differ. Vitamin B-12 intakes showed only a modest association with serum vitamin B-12 when supplement users were included in the analyses (FFQ, r = 0.25, P < 0.05; 3d-WFR, r = 0.32, P < 0.05). After excluding supplement users from the analyses, the relationship between vitamin B-12 intakes as determined by FFQ and serum vitamin B-12 was no longer significant. Median daily folate intakes (346 vs. 212 μg) and vitamin B-12 (4.9 vs, 1.9 μg) estimated from the FFQ were higher than those obtained from the 3d-WFR. In sum, these data suggest that both the FFQ and 3d-WFR are valid measures of assessing the folate intake of young women, and both appear to be useful in determining vitamin B-12 intake when supplemental users are included. The markedly different conclusions about absolute folate and vitamin B-12 intakes obtained using these two dietary methodologies should be taken into consideration when making recommendations about optimal folate intakes in relation to disease prevention.

Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary assessment
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Young women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this