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DEGS nutrition questionnaires for scientists

Contact person: Dr. Gert Mensink, Dr. Christin Heidemann

A newly developed nutrition questionnaire was used in DEGS1. This food frequency questionnaire collected information on the frequency of consumption and usual portion sizes of a total of 53 food groups in the four weeks before completing the questionnaire.

The questionnaire represents a further development of the questionnaire used in the KiGGS basic survey. The latter was designed based on the cognitive criteria of the National Cancer Institute food frequency questionnaire used in the USA.

This food frequency method is a relatively uncomplicated, fast and low-cost method. However, because it only covers a finite number of defined foods, it is limited with regard to the quantitative information it provides. Since the range of foods can also change over time, it is important to develop and validate such a tool as close as possible to its time of use in a study.

In cooperation with the Max Rubner Institute, the RKI investigated how valid levels of consumption in the German population aged between 18 and 79 could be measured using the newly developed DEGS1 nutrition questionnaire.

This includes the comparison of the food consumption measured in the DEGS1 nutrition questionnaire with the food consumption measured using two 24-hour recalls. To this end, 210 participants in the German National Nutrition Monitoring who had been asked about their diets twice in the past 24 hours by telephone using the EPIC-Soft nutrition software were asked to fill out the DEGS1 nutrition questionnaire. The questionnaire was completed and returned by 165 people (return rate 79%).

Duration / status: complete

Project type: Epidemiological methods

Cooperation partner: Max Rubner Institute

Date: 15.10.2014


  • Haftenberger M, Heuer T, Heidemann C, Kube F, Krems C, Mensink GBM (2010): Relative validation of a food frequency questionnaire for national health and nutrition monitoring.
    Nutr. J. 9: 36. Epub Sep 14. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-36. more

  • Truthmann J, Mensink GBM, Richter A (2011): Relative validation of the KiGGS Food Frequency Questionnaire among adolescents in Germany.
    Nutr. J. 10 (1): 133. Epub Dec 7. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-10-133. more