What are the applications of the SCG-FFQ?

The FFQ is designed for research purposes in studies of 100 or more subjects. Questionnaires are available for children, young people, adults and older adults. It should only be used in subjects whose diet is both based on commonly eaten UK foods and is stable over a period of at least 3 months. The SCG-FFQ cannot be used to estimate the intake of individuals or groups to provide dietary advice.  

What do the questionnaires look like?

The FFQ can either be provided as a paper copy, or it can be competed online.

Examples of the questionnaire are provided here: adult versionchildren's version 

How is the data from the SCG-FFQ entered?

Data is entered using a web based data entry system.  

What output is provided from the SCG-FFQ?

Data is analysed using McCance and Widdowson's Composition of Foods (7th Edition) Click here for a list of the nutrient output.

Additional databases for analysis include:

The output provides the nutrient intake from food and drink for each subject as:

  •  Total nutrient intake per day
  •  Nutrient intake per food group per day

    The questionnaire collects data on dietary supplement use but intake of nutrients from supplements is not calculated by the analysis package.

What is the validity of the SCG-FFQ?

For validation studies please see the references listed below:

Web-based questionnaire entry: Kyle J, Marais D, Gilson G, McPherson G.Evaluation of an electronic Scottish collaborative group food frequency questionnaire for British and Irish adults International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods. Rome, Italy. May 2012 link

Adults FFQ:

Hollis JL, Craig LCA, Whybrow S, Clark H, Kyle JAM, McNeill G.  Assessing the relative validity of the Scottish Collaborative Group FFQ for measuring dietary intake in adults. Public Health Nutrition 2017 20 (3) 449-455  doi: 10.1017/S1368980016002421 link

Masson LF, McNeill G, Tomany JO, Simpson JA, Peace HS, Wei L, Grubb DA and Bolton-Smith C. Statistical approaches for assessing the relative validity of a food-frequency questionnaire: use of correlation coefficients and the kappa statistic. Public Health Nutrition 2003;

Older adults FFQ: Jia X, Craig LCA, Aucott LS, Milne AC, McNeill G. Repeatability and validity of a food frequency questionnaire in free-living older people in relation to cognitive function. J Nutr Health Ageing 2008;12:735-41. link

Children and Young Persons FFQ: Craig LCA, McNeill G, Masson LF, Macdiarmid J,  Holmes B, Nelson M and Sheehy C. Relative validity of two food-frequency questionnaires for children compared with 4-day diet diaries. Proc Nutr Soc 2010;69: E428 link

Adults FFQ and the flavonoids database: Kyle JAM, Masson LF, Grubb DA, Duthie GA, McNeil G. Estimating dietary flavonoid intake: comparison of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire with 4-day weighed diet records in a Scottish population. Proc Nutr Soc. 2002;61:69A link

Further validation work is currently in progress for a) the adult FFQ in a comparison with 4 day non-weighed diaries and selected urinary intake biomarkers, and b) the fatty acids database.   

How much does it cost to use the SCG-FFQ?

For the online questionnaires there is an access charge of £1 per FFQ, with a minimum charge of £100 and a maximum charge of £500. Web pages tailored to an individual project may be subject to an additional charge.

We can also provide the questionnaires in print form at a cost of  £2.00 per copy up to 500; £1.00 per copy if more than 500 questionnaires are ordered (orders in supplied in batches of 100s) plus postage and packaging.

There are potentially reductions in costs for pilot studies.

The cost of the analysis depends on the complexity - a basic analysis (of those nutrients in the composition of food tables)  costs £4.00 per questionnaire if fewer than 500 FFQs analysed (minimum charge £200); £3.50 per questionnaire between 500 and 999 FFQs analysed; £3.00 per questionnaire for analysis of 1000 or more FFQs. Additional databases are charged at £1.50 per FFQ for each additional database analysed, up to a maximum of £4.50.

Additional support can be provided for fat coding and other foods calculation at £1.50/FFQ. Assistance with data entry may be possible (price on application).

Instructions and advice will be provided at all stages of the process. 

How do I go about requesting the service?

If you think the SCG-FFQ would be suitable for your research you can contact the Diet Survey team at to discuss your requirements. You will be asked to complete a New User form to provide further details.