Mentor: Dr. Anne Mathews
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
"I have desired to perform my own, independent research, from that experience first hand what research is like and eventually write a thesis displaying my research. I got involved with the research I am doing now because as a nutrition is something that interests me greatly and hopefully through this research I can put what I am learning in my courses to practical use."
Food Science and Human Nutrition
- Samaritan's Clinic
- Children's Ministry
- Projects for Haiti Spring Break Mission Trip
Hobbies and Interests
Validity of a Food Frequency Questionnaire for Preschool Aged Children
The national epidemic of childhood obesity has spurred research and community interventions targeting the health behaviors of families and children. A challenge of this work is not only in developing and delivering an intervention, but testing its effectiveness. Assessing food intake and detecting a change in eating behaviors is particularly challenging as food consumption is almost always based on self-reported data and the inaccuracies of self-reported data are likely magnified in children. Twenty-four hour recalls are the gold standard in assessing dietary behavior but are extremely time intensive. Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQ) are a commonly used method for assessing dietary habits. The purpose of this study is to test the validity of the FFQ in assessing food intake in preschool children. To do this, we will compare the results of the Kids Block 2004 FFQ with three 24 hour recalls. Participants will include a subset (n=25) of families participating in the CHIRP Study, a family based behavioral lifestyle intervention for preschoolers and their parents. At baseline, post intervention, and at follow-up, parents will complete the FFQ and three 24 hour recalls about their preschooler’s intake. The FFQ data will be analyzed by NutritionQuest while the 24 hour recall data will be analyzed using Food Processor. We will then compare the results from the FFQ with the 24 hour recalls using a paired t-test. I hypothesize that the FFQ will be an accurate representation of preschooler’s dietary intake when held up against the 24 hour recalls.