Development and Relative Validation of a Food Frequency Questionnaire to Assess Non-Nutritive Sweeteners Intake among Pregnant Women in Santiago, Chile: A Pilot Study

Sandra López-Arana, Rebeca Peralta, Verónica Sambra, Karen Abrigo, Gabriel Prado, Paola Cáceres, Bielka Carvajal, Martin Gotteland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies on the effects of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNSs) among pregnant women are scarce and have produced mixed results. One of the major challenges is to accurately assess NNS intake, especially in countries that have implemented policies to prevent obesity and where many foods and beverages have been progressively reformulated to partially or totally replace sugar with NNSs. This study aimed to develop and assess the relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for use in pregnant women. We developed an FFQ to examine the intake of seven NNSs (acesulfame-k, aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, sucralose, steviol glycosides, and D-tagatose). This questionnaire was piloted in 29 pregnant women (median age = 31.2 y; 25th–75th percentile: 26.9–34.7) to assess NNS intake over the previous month, compared to 3-day dietary records (3-DR). The validity of this dietary method was assessed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient, Lin´s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC), and Bland–Altman plots. Spearman’s correlations between the FFQ on NNSs and 3-DR ranged from 0.50 for acesulfame K to 0.83 for saccharin. CCC ranged between 0.22 and 0.66. The Bland–Altman plots showed an overestimation of saccharin, sucralose, and steviol glycosides intake by the FFQ on NNSs compared with 3-DR, and an underestimation of acesulfame K and aspartame. Overall, the NNSs most frequently consumed were sucralose, and none of the participants exceeded the acceptable daily intake for any of the NNSs evaluated. The FFQ on NNSs seems to be reasonably valid in the assessment of NNSs among pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2518
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number11
Early online date29 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • food frequency questionnaire
  • non-nutritive sweeteners
  • pregnant women
  • survey validation

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