Food or nutrient pattern assessment using the principal component analysis applied to food questionnaires. Pitfalls, tips and tricks
Smuts, Cornelius M.
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We considered the Blom’s transformation, a statistical method aimed to normalise and standardise food intakes before principal component analysis. A simulation study was performed to evaluate the eigenvalue distribution of a correlation matrix under common conditions in food questionnaire analysis. The scree plot visual inspection and the Guttman–Kaiser (GK) criterion were compared to Horn’s parallel analysis to evaluate their efficacy in food pattern identification. The scree plot results as a monotone continuous series when no food patterns are present. In this situation, about 50% of the eigenvalues assume a value higher than one, showing a first fallacy of the GK. When three food patterns are simulated a clear discontinuity appears after the third eigenvalue, showing that the scree-plot visual inspection is a suitable method to identify food patterns. Finally, according to the present work it appears that the GK generates a number of false-positive food patterns
- Faculty of Health Sciences