Introduction Dietary guidelines for hypertensive patients require methods able to identify food patterns and monitoring adherence, which could be based on a simplified Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) for food groups.
Objective To develop a FFQ for food groups in order to easily recommend the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet for hypertensive patients.
Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among adults, aged 20 to 69 years, from a Hypertension clinic of a reference centre (Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre), in southern Brazil. Data gathering using two sequential 24 h recalls (RA 24 h) were adopted to assess dietary intake. A list of food groups was generated, based on the DASH diet adapted to the southern Brazil population. A pilot study, including 30 individuals, was conducted to test the FFQ structure, consumption of food groups, two periods of recall, and pictures and wording for food items identification.
Results A sample of 127 hypertensive patients were interviewed at seven and 30 days, using a qualitative FFQ with 40 items aggregated into eight food groups, based on the DASH diet. The pictures of food items were useful to remind patients of the components of food groups. As a result, FFQ was quickly applied, in approximately 20 and 16 min for FFQ at 30 and for 7 days, respectively.
Conclusion This first step allowed detecting that the FFQ for food groups was feasible at seven and 30 days, and no major issues were detected during the testing.
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