Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQ)

Process At A Glance

  • Complete form for NASR account
  • Use 3-letter project code to request FFQs
  • Perform QA before sending to NASR for scans
  • Mail FFQs to NASR
  • Obtain data files
  • Review error reports
  • Cite use of FFQ in publication
See process details for Using FFQs

Location: Arnold Building, 4th floor
Contact phone: (800) 460-7270
(206) 667-4161
Contact e-mail:

The Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) is the most common dietary assessment tool used in large epidemiologic studies of diet and health. The self-administered FFQ booklet asks participants to report the frequency of consumption and portion size of approximately 125 line items over a defined period of time (e.g. the last month; the last three months). Each line item is defined by a series of foods or beverages. Additional questions on food purchasing and preparation methods enable the analysis software to further refine nutrient calculations.

Nutrition Assessment uses the University of Minnesota Nutrition Data Systems for Research (NDSR) software for data entry and nutrient analysis via the FFQ (See more about the NDSR software.)

FFQ Booklets

NASR periodically updates its standard FFQ to reflect U.S. food consumption patterns and major changes in the market place. The GSEL and MSEL FFQs were designed in 2001 under the direction of FHCRC nutritional scientists and epidemiologists and are based on the questionnaires used in two large NIH funded studies, the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) and the VITamins and Lifestyle study (VITAL). The GSEL FFQ was updated in late 2010.  It is now called the GNA (General Nutrition Assessment) and has a male counterpart called the MNA. The line items on these two new questionnaires are identical, but the medium portion sizes are larger on the male version. The differences between the old GSEL and the GNA can be found in the list of changes document. Information on the development of the standard FFQ and the inter-method reliability of the FFQs can be found in the publications list. 

FFQ booklets are available in English and Spanish.
See sample booklets and serving size resources.

For procedural details, see How to Use FFQs.

The cost of requested customized datasets from FFQ data is determined by project scope and may vary on a study-by-study basis.

For pricing, please contact the NASR Manager at 206-667-4161, or 1-800-460-7270.

Custom Services

Customization of FFQs is available.  Cost is determined by project scope and can be quite expensive depending on what a study wants. Please contact NASR manager for services and cost information.

Individualized Participant Feedback (Nutrient Analysis Report [NAR]).  NASR can provide an electronic report giving the estimated dietary intakes of specific nutrients for each study participant.