About the Form
The food list for Multicultural FFQ was developed using the format of the National Cancer Institute/Block FFQ, but with data from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES) dietary recalls for Puerto Ricans. Because the Puerto Rican population has a typical diet that differs considerably from the general US population and from Mexican Americans, foods like plantains, mango, fruit nectars, cassava, frituras (fried snacks), custard and specific soup and rice-dish recipes were added. Within food line items, included specific foods were re-weighted to include the differing use (for example, pink beans were added and baked beans down-weighted in the legumes line).
Additionally, portion sizes for foods were found to differ significantly between Puerto Ricans in the HHANES and the general population in the NHANES II; therefore, we expanded the portion sizes. Rice and chicken soup are just two examples for which the usual portion size greatly exceeded the “large” option in existing questionnaires. Another key item was milk in coffee. Many Puerto Ricans use more milk than coffee and drink this frequently throughout the day. Without this detail, we would seriously underestimate energy, fat, protein and calcium intake.
Because recipes differed significantly for what may otherwise sound like the same food, we added preparation questions, including whether oil is added when cooking rice or beans, and added selection of recipes for rice dishes and stews which include sofrito (tomato, pepper, onion and corn oil), among others. Without consideration of sofrito, for example, which is used daily by many, we found that we would underestimate vegetable and carotenoid intakes.
Comparison of our instrument with the Block FFQ showed that the our questionnaire captured the intakes reported in 24 hour recalls more accurately for total nutrients and in ranking of individuals.