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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Long-Term Stability of Food Patterns Identified by Use of Factor Analysis among Swedish Women

Authors
item Newby, Phyllis - TUFTS/HNRCA
item Weismayer, Christoph - KAROLINSKA INST, SWEDEN
item Akesson, Agneta - KAROLINSKA INST, SWEDEN
item Tucker, Katherine
item Wolk, Alicja - KAROLINSKA INST, SWEDEN

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 28, 2005
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Repository URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16484535&query_hl=2&itool=pubmed_docsum
Citation: Newby, P.K., Weismayer, C., Akesson, A., Tucker, K.L., Wolk, A. 2006. Long-term Stability of Food Patterns Identified by use of Factor Analysis among Swedish Women. Journal of Nutrition. 136(3):626-33.

Interpretive Summary: Limited data exist on the reproducibility of food patterns measured using factor analysis, as well as the stability of patterns over time. Our primary objective was to explore the long-term stability of food patterns derived using confirmatory factor analysis among 33,840 women participating in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Our secondary objective was to compare factor solutions from confirmatory factor analysis to those derived using exploratory factor analysis. Diet was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire in 1987 and 1997 and food patterns were derived using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. We observed four major food patterns — Healthy, Western/Swedish, Alcohol, and Sweets — at both time points. Correlations between confirmed food patterns in 1987 and 1997 were strongest for the Alcohol and Sweets pattern and weakest for the Healthy and Western/Swedish patterns. Patterns derived using exploratory factor analysis were strongly associated with those derived using confirmatory factor analysis. The patterns derived in this study were similar to those derived in other studies, indicating reproducibility of food patterns across populations. Our study suggests that food patterns measured using confirmatory factor analysis are reproducible over time, and weaker correlations observed may reflect natural changes in eating behavior, the food supply, and/or perceptions of what is considered healthy. Testing whether patterns measured over a long time period can be used in analytical studies is the next step in assessing the validity of this method.

Technical Abstract: Limited data exist on the reproducibility of food patterns measured using factor analysis, as well as the stability of patterns over time. Our primary objective was to explore the long-term stability of food patterns derived using confirmatory factor analysis among 33,840 women participating in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Our secondary objective was to compare factor solutions from confirmatory factor analysis to those derived using exploratory factor analysis. Diet was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire in 1987 and 1997 and food patterns were derived using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. We observed four major food patterns — Healthy, Western/Swedish, Alcohol, and Sweets — at both time points. Correlations between confirmed food patterns in 1987 and 1997 were 0.37 for the Healthy pattern, 0.27 for the Western/Swedish pattern, 0.54 for the Alcohol pattern, and 0.44 for the Sweets pattern (P < 0.0001 for all associations). Patterns derived using exploratory factor analysis were strongly associated with those derived using confirmatory factor analysis (r ' 0.90, P < 0.0001, for all associations). The patterns derived in this study were similar to those derived in other studies, indicating reproducibility of food patterns across populations. Our study suggests that food patterns measured using confirmatory factor analysis are reproducible over time, and weaker correlations observed may reflect natural changes in eating behavior, the food supply, and/or perceptions of what is considered healthy. Testing whether patterns measured over a long time period can be used in analytical studies is the next step in assessing the validity of this method.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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