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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

, 5:55

First Online: 04 November 2008Received: 02 June 2008Accepted: 04 November 2008


BackgroundHome food inventories provide an efficient method for assessing home food availability; however, few are validated. The present study-s aim was to develop and validate a home food inventory that is easily completed by research participants in their homes and includes a comprehensive range of both healthful and less healthful foods that are associated with obesity.

MethodsA home food inventory HFI was developed and tested with two samples. Sample 1 included 51 adult participants and six trained research staff who independently completed the HFI in participants- homes. Sample 2 included 342 families in which parents completed the HFI and the Diet History Questionnaire DHQ and students completed three 24-hour dietary recall interviews. HFI items assessed 13 major food categories as well as two categories assessing ready-access to foods in the kitchen and the refrigerator. An obesogenic household food availability score was also created. To assess criterion validity, participants- and research staffs- assessment of home food availability were compared staff = gold standard. Criterion validity was evaluated with kappa, sensitivity, and specificity. Construct validity was assessed with correlations of five HFI major food category scores with servings of the same foods and associated nutrients from the DHQ and dietary recalls.

ResultsKappa statistics for all 13 major food categories and the two ready-access categories ranged from 0.61 to 0.83, indicating substantial agreement. Sensitivity ranged from 0.69 to 0.89, and specificity ranged from 0.86 to 0.95. Spearman correlations between staff and participant major food category scores ranged from 0.71 to 0.97. Correlations between the HFI scores and food group servings and nutrients on the DHQ parents were all significant p < .05 while about half of associations between the HFI and dietary recall interviews adolescents were significant p < .05. The obesogenic home food availability score was significantly associated p < .05 with energy intake of both parents and adolescents.

ConclusionThis new home food inventory is valid, participant-friendly, and may be useful for community-based behavioral nutrition and obesity prevention research. The inventory builds on previous measures by including a wide range of healthful and less healthful foods rather than foods targeted for a specific intervention.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1479-5868-5-55 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Jayne A Fulkerson - Melissa C Nelson - Leslie Lytle - Stacey Moe - Carrie Heitzler - Keryn E Pasch


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