BACKGROUND In South Africa, noncommunicable diseases and obesity are increasing
and also affect children. No validated assessment tools for fat intake are available.
Objective To determine testeretest reliability and relative validity of a pictorial
modified meats, eggs, dairy, fried foods, fats in baked goods, convenience foods, table
fats, and snacks (MEDFICTS) dietary fat screener.
DESIGN We determined testeretest reliability and diagnostic accuracy with the modified
MEDFICTS as the index test and a 3-day weighed food record and parental
completion of the screener as primary and secondary reference methods, respectively.
Participants/setting Grade-six learners (aged 12 years, 4 months) in an urban, middleclass
school (n¼93) and their parents (n¼72).
OUTCOME MEASURES Portion size, frequency of intake, final score, and classification of
fat intake of the modified MEDFICTS, and percent energy from fat, saturated fatty acids,
and cholesterol of the food record.
Statistical analyses For categorical data agreement was based on kappa statistics,
McNemar’s test for symmetry, and diagnostic performance parameters. Continuous data
were analyzed with correlations, mean differences, the Bland-Altman method, and
receiver operating characteristics.
RESULTS The classification of fat intake by the modified MEDFICTSwas testeretest reliable.
Final scores of the group did not differ between administrations (P¼0.86). The correlation
of final scores between administrations was significant for girls only (r¼0.58; P¼0.01).
Reliability of portion size and frequency of intake scores depended on the food category. For
girls the screener final scorewas significantly (P<0.5) correlated to total, saturated fat, and
cholesterol intakes (butnot topercentenergy fromfat andsaturatedfattyacids intakes).The
sensitivity of the modified MEDFICTS was very high (>90%), but chance corrected agreement
between the classifications was poor. Parents did not agree with their children.
CONCLUSIONS Testeretest reliability and relative validity of a modified MEDFICTS dietary
fat screener in South African schoolchildren depended on the use and outcome measures