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Author: admin, 07.03.2016. Category: Gardening

Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs) are flexible instruments for collecting dietary information.
We recommend especially the two formats given below and on the complete list of recommended questions.
Instructions for modifying these questions and calculating consumption based on responses are given below the examples. Thinking about your diet over the past three months, please select the responses that best describe how often you eat each type of food and how much of it you eat at a time.
Thinking about your diet over the past three months, please select the responses that best describe how often you eat each type of food. FFQs can be modified to ask about past diet by specifying time periods that are in the past. FFQs could also address future or planned diet by using dates in the future, but note that people are not generally very reliable sources of information about their future habits.
Length To increase response rates and quality, use the shortest list that meets the needs of the survey.
Balance of animal products and plant-based foods Survey responses can be affected by the perceived purpose of the survey. Specificity of animal products listed Not all animal products are equally important to ask about specifically.
Cultural relevance Our lists, including the memory aids, were developed with a broadly typical US diet in mind. Order of items Respondents are most likely to answer questions accurately after they have become used to the format of the questionnaire, but before they have become bored.
We provide three food lists with memory aids, including the two used above and a longer list which would be more useful for producing precise calculations of the quantity of various animal products consumed. To aid respondents, if more than one FFQ is present on a survey, each should use the same food list if possible. When to use this list: Use this list when precise calculation of the number of animals impacted is required and when survey length is not a concern. Description: This list includes an equal number of questions about animal-derived and plant-derived foods. When to use this list: Use this list when respondents should not know the purpose of the survey and when precision in terms of serving sizes is not required. Description: This list includes only the items about animal products from the balanced list. When to use this list: Use this list when the other options are inappropriate because respondents will not have time or attention to complete them. The frequency scale used should be chosen by balancing the precision of the information obtained with the increased difficulty for respondents when more response categories are available. To aid respondents, if more than one FFQ is present on a survey, each should use the same frequency scale if possible. The inclusion of a serving size scale is optional, but allows for more precise calculation of the number of animals affected by a respondent’s diet.
Use the items from the serving size list below that correspond to the food list on the survey.
For broad categories, an effort has been made to make serving sizes of different items in the category roughly interchangeable, in terms of the amount of animal product used.
A food frequency questionnaire can be used without significant calculation, if it is only intended to determine whether respondents eat a certain type of food at all, although in this case it may simply be better to use the food list with a question such as “Which do you currently eat?” to reduce the burden on respondents.
If no serving size scale was included, the best justified calculation that can be made is the frequency of consumption.
Using these conversions, the first step is to process the data by converting each response into a daily frequency.
If the sample consisted of only these two respondents, the overall average daily frequencies could be computed as in the chart below.
We do not recommend the reduction be calculated by counting the number of respondents who “moved to the left” on the scale, as if each step to the left is equally significant.
If respondents are administered the same FFQ at different times, or if the survey contains two FFQs referring to different time periods, the change in consumption for each individual respondent can also be calculated.
Respondents can then be classified by the amount of change in their diet over the period of interest.
Including serving sizes allows an informed conversion to be made from daily frequency to ounces consumed daily, and from there to the number of animals affected.
Once daily amounts are obtained for all respondents in the group, they may be averaged to produce an average daily amount.


Average daily amounts can then be used to calculate numbers of animals affected per person per year, based on the standard serving sizes used. If serving size information is not solicited, conversions to animals affected may be made by assuming all respondents are using typical portion sizes, but there is a lack of data on what these sizes are, particularly for the broad categories of foods on our food lists, so this is expected to introduce significant potential for error into calculations. We hope this page has given you the tools you need to select and use a food frequency questionnaire for your survey. The inclusion of a serving size scale is optional, but allows for more precise calculation of the number of animals affected by a respondenta€™s diet. A food frequency questionnaire can be used without significant calculation, if it is only intended to determine whether respondents eat a certain type of food at all, although in this case it may simply be better to use the food list with a question such as a€?Which do you currently eat?a€? to reduce the burden on respondents. We do not recommend the reduction be calculated by counting the number of respondents who a€?moved to the lefta€? on the scale, as if each step to the left is equally significant. The first version does not strongly indicate a specific interest in animal products and thus is useful, with or without the columns for serving size, when the purpose of the survey is not intended to be clear to the respondent. Select only one frequency and one serving size per row, even if different responses have been correct for different days or weeks. Select only one response per row, even if different responses have been correct for different days or weeks.
They can also be adjusted to be shorter and easier to complete or longer and more informative. This time period was chosen to give a view of respondent’s present diet, with three months a long enough time period that brief and temporary changes (such as a vacation or illness) would not be likely to substantially alter responses. It is helpful to use specific dates in this case, so that respondents do not have to do mental calculation. All the lists we provide are short compared to lists used in nutritional and medical studies, which can contain hundreds of individual foods. Choosing a list that asks many more questions about animal products than about plant-based foods can indicate to the respondents what aspect of their diet the researchers find interesting, so a balanced list is preferable if respondents will not already know who is surveying them (and why) and would think an animal advocacy group may be responsible for the survey. Products which are consumed more frequently and which lead to greater suffering are more important to ask about than products which are consumed infrequently or lead to less suffering. We selected foods for their prevalence in the United States, both in generating the list of categories and in choosing specific examples to use as memory aids. Items to which a correct response is particularly important should be placed near but not at the beginning of the list. The larger number of categories should help respondents more thoroughly recall their consumption habits.
If respondents should not know the purpose of the survey, consider supplementing with additional items focused on health or marketing issues. Its presence on a survey will not be a strong clue to respondents that the goal of the study is to determine their attitudes toward animals or whether they eat animal products. If serving sizes are included, they can be included parallel with the frequency scale, as in the first example above, or in a separate question following the other part of the FFQ. If adjustments are necessary to make the food list and memory aids culturally appropriate, they should also be considered for the example serving sizes given. Ranges on the frequency scale can be converted into frequencies of consumption per day and averaged over the relevant group of respondents.
While any reduction in animal product consumption is beneficial to animals, each step to the left on frequency scales is not equally significant with each other step to the left. For instance, suppose the two responses above were given by the same respondent before and after a humane education program. The first step in calculating the number of animals affected, therefore, is to compute the daily frequency for each respondent, as above. If respondents are administered the same FFQ about two different periods, change in amount eaten per day for each respondent could also be calculated, by the method used about for change in frequency. For instance, in the example above, 2.25 servings of dairy per day is about 18 oz of milk per day, or 411 lbs per year, which is about 2% of one dairy cow’s annual production.
We encourage you to use the example questionnaires above or to modify them by choosing the food list, memory aids, and frequency scale that best suit your needs.
This time period was chosen to give a view of respondenta€™s present diet, with three months a long enough time period that brief and temporary changes (such as a vacation or illness) would not be likely to substantially alter responses.
For instance, in the example above, 2.25 servings of dairy per day is about 18 oz of milk per day, or 411 lbs per year, which is about 2% of one dairy cowa€™s annual production.
They always include a list of foods and a range of frequencies that respondents can select from for each food; they sometimes also include options for serving sizes. Including the columns for serving size allows more detailed calculations regarding total consumption to be made.


Below, we suggest modifications that allow for customization while retaining the possibility of cross-comparison across studies using different FFQs.
A survey given fewer than three months after an intervention intended to change diet should use a shorter time period, so that the time period in question does not overlap the time of the intervention. For instance, “from January 1 to March 31, 2013” is more useful than “9 months to 1 year ago”. Similarly, including other categories of food that have social or medical significance, like caffeinated beverages, may provide respondents with alternative possibilities to consider about the purpose of the survey, leading to less biased answers on questions about animal products. Accordingly, our lists place great emphasis on chicken consumption, since it is frequent and leads to the suffering of more individuals per serving than do many other animal products.
In adapting an FFQ for use in another country or with a US population for which the foods listed are not especially common, culturally appropriate foods should be used to replace those not thought to be consumed frequently by the target population. Additionally, separate categories for side and main dishes help in assigning accurate portion sizes and calculating the number of animals affected.
For instance, include a series of items addressing consumption of caffeine (coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks, energy drinks, and chocolate).
Enough categories of animal products are provided to avoid some basic definitional confusions (such as the notion that fish and chicken are not meat), but recall will likely be less thorough than with the comprehensive list. Enough categories are provided to avoid problems caused by basic definitional confusions (such as the idea that chicken is not meat).
All scales focus attention on relatively frequent consumption over relatively rare consumption, both because the categories given on our food lists tend to be broad and because gradations on the frequent end of consumption possibilities affect more animals than gradations on the infrequent end.
Serving sizes may be given in words, as in the examples we present, or with pictures, especially if the survey is administered on a computer. If the serving size questions are presented separately from the frequency questions, keep the food list in the order used for the frequency questions. Non-responses would be left out entirely, and the average taken over respondents who provided a response to the particular question.
In the example above, a move from the rightmost column to the next column over would represent about 60 fewer servings of a food type per month, whereas the next step over would only represent a further decrease of about 45 servings per month, and each successive step after that also represents fewer servings’ difference. Similarly, .285 servings of chicken per day is about 1 oz of chicken per day, or 23 lbs per year, which is the meat from about 8 chickens.
For instance, a€?from January 1 to March 31, 2013a€? is more useful than a€?9 months to 1 year agoa€?. In the example above, a move from the rightmost column to the next column over would represent about 60 fewer servings of a food type per month, whereas the next step over would only represent a further decrease of about 45 servings per month, and each successive step after that also represents fewer servingsa€™ difference.
They are our preferred instrument for assessing dietary change when this must be done through self-reported data. The second version is shorter, but gives more information about the purpose of the survey, which could increase bias in responses. To address diet change, identical FFQs could be administered at two different times so that the periods they asked about did not overlap, or two FFQs could be administered on the same survey, one asking about the past and one asking about the present.
However, the large number of items focused on animal derived foods might reveal the purpose of the study if it is not already clear to respondents. However, this list is likely to reveal the purpose of the study to respondents if they do not already know it. However, we always include “never” as a possible response, because of its significance in terms of respondent memory and to allow those administering a FFQ to identify respondents who are following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Because most people find serving sizes difficult to estimate from verbal descriptions, pictures may produce more accurate responses.
If no selection is made for serving size, the response may be omitted, or the serving size may be taken to be 1; a choice should be made systematically for the entire data set. If you have further questions about what questionnaire would be right for your purposes, or about how to modify a questionnaire for a substantially different audience, you can contact us or get more intensive help through Statistics Without Borders or the Faunalytics.
However, we always include a€?nevera€? as a possible response, because of its significance in terms of respondent memory and to allow those administering a FFQ to identify respondents who are following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Our longest list also separates cheese from the rest of the dairy category, since in the United States, more milk is used to produce cheese than to produce any other dairy food.
It also provides less support for memory than the comprehensive list, so recall is likely to be less thorough.
These scales are compatible with each other, in that scales with fewer options can be obtained by combining categories on scales with more options.



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