Recall of diet during a past pregnancy

Greta R. Bunin, M. Elizabeth Gyllstrom, Judith E. Brown, Emily B. Kahn, Lawrence H. Kushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The authors conducted a study of women's ability to recall diet during a past pregnancy. For a prospective study, women completed self-administered food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) before and during pregnancy (1989-1992). These women, mostly White and well-educated, were contacted 3-7 years later (1996-1997) for a retrospective dietary assessment performed by either telephone interview (n = 154) or self-administered FFQ (n = 115). Energy-adjusted Pearson correlations ranged from O.10 to 0.49 for the telephone interview group and from 0.02 to 0.67 for the self-administered questionnaire group. When participants' intakes were ranked, quintile agreement (within one quintile) between original diet and recalled diet ranged from 60% to 69% in the telephone interview group and from 69% to 79% in the self-administered questionnaire group. Correlations and percentages of agreement were higher among women who used the same questionnaire for both dietary assessments than among those who used different questionnaires. These results suggest that diet during pregnancy is recalled with similar accuracy as or perhaps slightly lower accuracy than adult diet generally. This may reflect, in part, the influence of current (nonpregnancy) diet on recall of past (pregnancy) diet. While the results of this study may not be generalizable to those obtained from other populations, to the authors' knowledge it is the first study of recall of diet during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1142
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Diet surveys
  • Pregnancy
  • Recall
  • Reproducibility of results

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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