Adaptation and validation of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to assess dietary intake in Moroccan adults

Khaoula El Kinany, Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, Mohamed Khalis, Meimouna Mint Sidi Deoula, Abdelilah Benslimane, Amran Ibrahim, Mohamed Chakib Benjelloun, Karima El Rhazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: To date, no culture-specific food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) are available in North Africa. The aim of this study was to adapt and examine the reproducibility and validity of an FFQ or use in the Moroccan population. Methods: The European Global Asthma and Allergy Network (GA 2 LEN) FFQ was used to assess its applicability in Morocco. The GA 2 LEN FFQ is comprised of 32 food sections and 200 food items. Using scientific published literature, as well as local resources, we identified and added foods that were representative of the Moroccan diet. Translation of the FFQ into Moroccan Arabic was carried out following the World Health Organization (WHO) standard operational procedure. To test the validity and the reproducibility of the FFQ, 105 healthy adults working at Hassan II University Hospital Center of Fez were invited to answer the adapted FFQ in two occasions, 1 month apart, and to complete three 24-h dietary recall questionnaires during this period. Pearson correlation, and Bland-Altman plots were used to assess validity of nutrient intakes. The reproducibility between nutrient intakes as reported from the first and second FFQ were calculated using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). All nutrients were log-transformed to improve normality and were adjusted using the residual method. Results: The adapted FFQ was comprised of 255 items that included traditional Moroccan foods. Eighty-seven adults (mean age 27.3 ± 5.7 years) completed all the questionnaires. For energy and nutrients, the intakes reported in the FFQ1 were higher than the mean intakes reported by the 24-h recall questionnaires. The Pearson correlation coefficients between the first FFQ and the mean of three 24-h recall questionnaires were statistically significant. For validity, de-attenuated correlations were all positive, statistically significant and ranging from 0.24 (fiber) to 0.93 (total MUFA). For reproducibility, the ICCs were statistically significant and ranged between 0.69 for fat and 0.84 for Vitamin A. Conclusion: This adapted FFQ is an acceptable tool to assess usual dietary intake in Moroccan adults. Given its representativeness of local food intake, it can be used as an instrument to investigate the role of diet on health and disease outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
JournalNutrition Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 12 2018


  • Diet
  • Food frequency questionnaire
  • GA LEN
  • Morocco
  • North Africa
  • Reproducibility
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptation and validation of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to assess dietary intake in Moroccan adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this