Prochaska JJ, Sallis JF, Rupp J. Screening measure for assessing dietary fat intake among adolescents. Prev Med 2001 Dec;33(6):699-706.


BACKGROUND: Clinical preventive guidelines recommend that health care providers counsel adolescents on nutrition. Brief, accurate, and reproducible dietary assessments are needed. The purpose of the current pair of studies was to develop a dietary fat screening measure for use with adolescents. METHODS: Two measures were developed-a 21-item and a 4-category measure. The measures differed in the level at which fat consumption was assessed (food item vs food group). Study 1 (N = 231, age M = 15 years, 57% female, 41% Euro-American) evaluated reliability. Study 2 (N = 59, age M = 14 years, 63% female, 37% Euro-American) evaluated construct validity and correct classification rates. RESULTS: Internal consistencies (alpha > 0.70) and test-retest reliabilities (ICC > 0.60) were adequate for both measures. Neither measure correlated with total fat assessed by a 3-day food record (P > 0.05). The 21-item measure correlated significantly with percentage of calories from fat (r = 0.36, P <.01). Correct classification rate (71%) and sensitivity (81%) of the 21-item measure were good. Specificity (47%) was lower, indicating some subjects with a low-fat diet were misclassified by the screening measure. CONCLUSIONS: The 21-item measure is quick to complete and score, is inexpensive to reproduce, and has demonstrated reliability and validity. The measure could be clinically useful, but further improvements should be attempted to improve specificity.

Full Text

The full text is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1006/pmed.2001.0951

At A Glance

Individual Dietary Behavior Variables

Total fat grams, percentage of calories from total fat


Individual Dietary Behavior

Measure Type


Measure Availability

Measure included in article

Download measure ( .doc )

Number of Items

21 Reported

Study location


San Diego, CA, USA

Pittsburgh, PA



Information about Development of Measure

The Block Simplified Fat Screener, developed for adults, was modified for use with adolescents.

Study Design

Study Participants


12 - 18 Years







Black/African American


Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander

Predominantly Low-income/Low-SES

Not reported

Sample Size


Study Design

Design Type


Health Outcomes Assessed


Obesity Measures

Not applicable

BMI Measured or Self-reported

Not applicable


Not reported

Data Reported on Race/Ethnicity

Quantitative data on study sample

Data Reported on SES

Not applicable

SES-related Variables

Not applicable

How To Use


Who Administered


How Administered


Time Required

5-10 minutes

Training Required

Not reported

Instructions on Use

Instructions on instrument use included in article

Data Analysis

Data Collection/Analysis Costs

Not available

Data Collection/Protocol

Subjects completed the measure twice at an approximate interval of 2 weeks.

Instructions on Data Analysis

Instructions on analysis included in article

Validity (1)

Type of validity Construct/subscale assessed Criterion measure used Test/statistic used Result
Criterion Percentage of calories from dietary fat 3-day food record Pearson correlation coefficient r= 0.36, p<0.01

Reliability (7)

Type of reliability Construct/subscale assessed Test/statistic used Result
Test-retest 21-item fat measure- Full sample Intraclass correlation coefficient 0.64
Test-retest 21-item fat measure- 7-8 grade girls Intraclass correlation coefficient 0.65
Test-retest 21-item fat measure- 7-8 grade boys Intraclass correlation coeefficient 0.62
Test-retest 21-item fat measure- 9-12 grade boys Intraclass correlation coefficient 0.55
Test-retest 21-item fat measure- 9-12 grade girls Intraclass correlation coefficient 0.68
Internal Consistency 21-item fat measure- Time 1 Cronbach's alpha 0.88
Internal Consistency 21-item fat measure- Time 2 Cronbach's alpha 0.87