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Neelakantan N.,National University of Singapore | Whitton C.,National University of Singapore | Seah S.,National University of Singapore | Koh H.,National University of Singapore | And 6 more authors.
Nutrients | Year: 2016

Assessing habitual food consumption is challenging in multi-ethnic cosmopolitan settings. We systematically developed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in a multi-ethnic population in Singapore, using data from two 24-h dietary recalls from a nationally representative sample of 805 Singapore residents of Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicity aged 18-79 years. Key steps included combining reported items on 24-h recalls into standardized food groups, developing a food list for the FFQ, pilot testing of different question formats, and cognitive interviews. Percentage contribution analysis and stepwise regression analysis were used to identify foods contributing cumulatively ≥90% to intakes and individually ≥1% to intake variance of key nutrients, for the total study population and for each ethnic group separately. Differences between ethnic groups were observed in proportions of consumers of certain foods (e.g., lentil stews, 1%-47%; and pork dishes, 0%-50%). The number of foods needed to explain variability in nutrient intakes differed substantially by ethnic groups and was substantially larger for the total population than for separate ethnic groups. A 163-item FFQ covered >95% of total population intake for all key nutrients. The methodological insights provided in this paper may be useful in developing similar FFQs in other multi-ethnic settings.


Whitton C.,3 Second Hospital Avenue | Ma Y.,3 Second Hospital Avenue | Fen Chan M.,3 Second Hospital Avenue | Chew L.,Research and Strategic Planning Division
Public Health Nutrition | Year: 2014

Objective To determine the demographic profile of fast-food consumers among adult Singapore residents and ascertain whether fast-food consumption frequency is associated with diet quality and weight status. Design A nationally representative cross-sectional survey including an FFQ and anthropometric measures. Participants were grouped based on their fast-food consumption frequency as non-consumer, occasional consumer or regular consumer, with regular defined as at least once per week. Setting Individuals living in the community in Singapore. Subjects Singapore residents (n 1627) aged 18-69 years of Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicity. Results Proportions of regular fast-food consumers were higher in younger age groups, higher income groups and middle education level groups. Mean daily energy intake was positively associated with fast-food consumption frequency (non-consumers 9636 kJ (2303 kcal); occasional consumers 11 159 kJ (2667 kcal); regular consumers 13 100 kJ (3131 kcal); P for trend < 0·001). Fast-food consumers were more likely to exceed the RDA for energy, fat and saturated fat, and less likely to meet wholegrain and fruit recommendations. Both regular consumers (OR = 1·24; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·51) and occasional consumers (OR = 1·52; 95 % CI 1·32, 1·77) were more likely to have a waist:hip ratio indicating abdominal obesity. Occasional consumers were more likely to have a BMI ≥ 23·0 kg/m2 (OR = 1·19; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·37), whereas regular consumers were less likely (OR = 0·76; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·91) to have an 'at-risk' BMI. Conclusions Fast-food consumption is most prevalent in young adults, high income and middle education level groups. Frequent fast-food consumption in Singapore is associated with unfavourable dietary and nutrient profiles and abdominal obesity. Copyright © The Authors 2013.


Neelakantan N.,National University of Singapore | Whitton C.,National University of Singapore | Seah S.,National University of Singapore | Koh H.,National University of Singapore | And 7 more authors.
Nutrients | Year: 2016

Assessing habitual food consumption is challenging in multi-ethnic cosmopolitan settings. We systematically developed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in a multi-ethnic population in Singapore, using data from two 24-h dietary recalls from a nationally representative sample of 805 Singapore residents of Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicity aged 18-79 years. Key steps included combining reported items on 24-h recalls into standardized food groups, developing a food list for the FFQ, pilot testing of different question formats, and cognitive interviews. Percentage contribution analysis and stepwise regression analysis were used to identify foods contributing cumulatively ≥90% to intakes and individually ≥1% to intake variance of key nutrients, for the total study population and for each ethnic group separately. Differences between ethnic groups were observed in proportions of consumers of certain foods (e.g., lentil stews, 1%-47%; and pork dishes, 0%-50%). The number of foods needed to explain variability in nutrient intakes differed substantially by ethnic groups and was substantially larger for the total population than for separate ethnic groups. A 163-item FFQ covered >95% of total population intake for all key nutrients. The methodological insights provided in this paper may be useful in developing similar FFQs in other multi-ethnic settings. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


PubMed | Research and Strategic Planning Division and National University of Singapore
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nutrients | Year: 2016

Assessing habitual food consumption is challenging in multi-ethnic cosmopolitan settings. We systematically developed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in a multi-ethnic population in Singapore, using data from two 24-h dietary recalls from a nationally representative sample of 805 Singapore residents of Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicity aged 18-79 years. Key steps included combining reported items on 24-h recalls into standardized food groups, developing a food list for the FFQ, pilot testing of different question formats, and cognitive interviews. Percentage contribution analysis and stepwise regression analysis were used to identify foods contributing cumulatively 90% to intakes and individually 1% to intake variance of key nutrients, for the total study population and for each ethnic group separately. Differences between ethnic groups were observed in proportions of consumers of certain foods (e.g., lentil stews, 1%-47%; and pork dishes, 0%-50%). The number of foods needed to explain variability in nutrient intakes differed substantially by ethnic groups and was substantially larger for the total population than for separate ethnic groups. A 163-item FFQ covered >95% of total population intake for all key nutrients. The methodological insights provided in this paper may be useful in developing similar FFQs in other multi-ethnic settings.

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