Introduction Diet is an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease and appears relevant in migrant groups in Western Europe, including the Netherlands. However, no comprehensive picture of the dietary patterns of the main non-western migrants in the Netherlands exists. Research is limited by a lack of validated instruments to measure habitual diet. In this study we aimed to develop ethnic-specific FFQs in order to study the dietary patterns of Surinamese of African and of South Asian origin, Turkish and Moroccan individuals residing in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Methods Food items were selected according to their percentage contribution to the nutrients of interest based on data from 24 h recalls. Tests of face-validity and cognitive interviews were performed to pinpoint problems in design and comprehension of the FFQs. A nutrient database was constructed based on data in the Dutch Food Composition Table.
Results Three FFQs including 180–200 food items have been developed to reflect usual intakes of Turkish, Moroccan and Surinamese migrants. Overall the FFQs cover more than 94% of the intake of the nutrients at interest in this study.
Conclusion With the development of the ethnic-specific FFQs, this study provides an opportunity to move the field of nutritional and health epidemiology forward. The FFQs will be applied to participants in the HELIUS study, a multi-ethnic cohort in Amsterdam, and will enable us to gather dietary intake data of 1000 participants (18–70 year old) per ethnic group. This will allow research into the main determinants and health consequences of habitual diet.
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