Reproducibility and validity of dietary patterns identified using factor analysis among Chinese populations

Xin Hong, Qing Ye, Zhiyong Wang, Huafeng Yang, Xupeng Chen, Hairong Zhou, Chenchen Wang, Wenjie Chu, Yichao Lai, Liuyuan Sun, Youfa Wang, Fei Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In the present study, we evaluated the reproducibility and validity of dietary patterns among Chinese adult populations. A random subsample of 203 participants (aged 31-80 years) from a community-based nutrition and health survey was enrolled. An eighty-seven-item FFQ was administered twice (FFQ1 and FFQ2) 1 year apart; four 3 consecutive day, 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR, as a reference method) were performed between the administrations of the two FFQ every 3 months. Dietary patterns from three separate dietary sources were derived using factor analysis based on twenty-eight predefined food groups. Comparisons between dietary pattern scores were made by using Pearson's or intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), cross-classification analysis, weighted κ statistic and Bland-Altman plots; the four major dietary patterns identified from FFQ1, FFQ2 and 24-HDR were similar. Regarding reproducibility, ICC for z-scores between FFQ1 and FFQ2 were all >0 6 for dietary patterns. The 'animal and plant protein' pattern had the highest ICC of 0 870. For validity, the adjusted Pearson's correlation coefficients for dietary pattern z-scores between two FFQ and the mean of four 3 consecutive day 24-HDR ranged from 0 387 for the 'Chinese traditional' pattern to 0 838 for the 'animal and plant protein' pattern. More than 75 % of the participants were classified into the same or adjacent quartile, and <5 % were misclassified into opposite quartiles. The weighted κ ranged from 0 259 to 0 680. Bland-Altman plots indicated that no significant deviation was found between two dietary assessment methods. Our findings indicate a good reasonable reproducibility and a reasonable validity of dietary patterns derived by factor analysis in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-852
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 14 2016


  • China
  • Dietary patterns
  • Factor analyses
  • Reliability
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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