Reliability of a food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary antioxidant intake

Catherine A. McCarty, Caroline De Paola, Patricia M. Livingston, Hugh R. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Epidemiologic evidence of a role for antioxidants in the prevention of chronic disease has been inconclusive, in part due to the difficulty of measuring past diets of free-living populations. The purpose of the current study was to examine the reliability of a 19-item, self-administered, semi-quantitative, food frequency questionnaire to assess intake of the major dietary antioxidants. METHODS. Reliability was established by administering the food frequency questionnaire a second time by telephone. The subjects comprised 151 participants in the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project, a study of the distribution and determinants of eye disease in Melbourne residents aged 40 and over. RESULTS. Spearman correlation coefficients ranged from 0.39 for spinach to 0.76 for yoghurt, and all were highly significant (all p = 0.001). The reliability of the instrument was not influenced by gender, English speaking ability, or the number of days between the first and second administration of the questionnaire. CONCLUSION. In conclusion, we have shown this 19-item food frequency questionnaire to be highly reliable. It should be useful for anyone involved in the study of the relationship of dietary antioxidant intake to health outcomes in large populations where limitations of time and money prohibit the collection of more detailed dietary intake information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The Melbourne Visual Impairment Project is supported in part by grants from theVictorian Health Promotion Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council. The authors gratefully acknowledge the advice and consultation of Dr. Katrine Baghurst and Dr. Charles Guest in the development of the food frequency questionnaire.


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary intake
  • Food frequency
  • Questionnaire
  • Reliability


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