The FFQ EPIC Tool for Analysis (FETA) is an open source, cross-platform tool to calculate nutrient and food group data from the entered food frequency questionnaires (FFQ). This tool is free to use.
The current FETA tool is based on version 6 (CAMB/PQ/6/1205) of the EPIC-Norfolk FFQ.
The FETA software is available for you to download. Please follow the instructions in the readme file that is created when the application is installed. Please ensure you run FETA with the sample input file once the application is installed, to check that installation has completed successfully.
v2.53 (updated 15/03/2013)
v2.53 (i486, updated 18/03/2018) (x86_64, updated 18/03/2018) (deb, updated 18/03/2018)
There is not currently a version of FETA for Mac computers
By using this website and by submitting data for analysis you are also agreeing to the following terms and conditions:
- You will make appropriate acknowledgement of the authors and funders of the FFQ programs in any publications using the analysed data.
- You understand that the FFQ program uses data made available to the authors under the Open Government Licence and that data provided to you derives from this data.
Running FETABefore running FETA you need to create an input file containing the data entry from your FFQ. If you have entered your data using the data entry template, save a copy of the worksheet as a .csv file. This csv file should only contain the columns present in the ‘FETA template’ worksheet. If you have used the ‘full FFQ template’ worksheet, remove the additional columns not used by FETA from the csv input file. FETA calculates the average daily intake of 46 nutrients and 14 food groups, for each individual. The default nutrients list provides a description of each nutrient/food group and the units used. The nutrient data for the FFQ foods have come from McCance and Widdowson’s “The Composition of Foods (5th edition)” and it’s associated supplements (see EPIC-Norfolk study reference section). The FETA screenshots document gives step by step instructions on how to run FETA. The output option are described in more detail below.
FETA output optionsThere are four output options to choose from in FETA (see examples below):
- In wide format– Average daily nutrient values for an individual, in wide format. Suitable for import into a spreadsheet or statistics package. One row per individual. This is the format that is most commonly used. See table 1 below.
- In long format– Average daily nutrient values for an individual. Contains the same data as output 1 but in long format. One row per nutrient, for each individual. Suitable for programmers. See table 2 below.
- By ffq line– Average daily nutrient values for each FFQ line (meal ID), for each individual. The meal ID lookup list contains descriptions of the 130 meal IDs. This output produces a very large file, suitable for programmers. See table 3 below.
- By food item and ffq line– Average daily nutrient values for each food code, for each FFQ line, for each individual. This detailed data provides the average daily nutrient intake at the food level, and also the average daily consumption of each food item. It produces a very large output file, several thousand rows per individual, suitable for programmers. See table 4 below.
Example FETA outputs:
Each example shows a few rows of output, for one individual, for a limited number of nutrients/food groups.
2. Long format
|ID||Nutrient code||Nutrient quantity|
3. By ffq line
|ID||Meal ID||Meal portion||Nutrient code||Nutrient quantity|
4. By food item and ffq line
|ID||Meal ID||Food code||Food portion||Nutrient code||Nutrient quantity|
FETA document links
- Default nutrients list
- Meal ID lookup list
- Food code lookup list
- FETA FFQ portion sizes
- Nutrient food groups look up list
The FETA FFQ modification instructions gives details on how to modify FETA look up tables to process modified FFQs.
- When I run FETA I get an error relating to the FETA config file.
- When I start FETA, the FETA screen disappears after a couple of seconds and I’m not able to use it.
- When I run FETA I get the error “FETA client gave a fatal error” or “unable to allocate memory for parser context”.
- I’m able to run FETA but not able to understand the output headings i.e. nutrient_1, nutrient_2 etc. What do they mean?
- I have an input line validation warning when attempting to run my input file through FETA and then the program freezes.
- Where can I find copies of the FETA look up files?
- My output file has a higher than expected number of missing ticks in the first row.
When I run FETA I get an error relating to the FETA config file.
Option 1 –
As part of the installation process, a shortcut for a file is created on your desktop called: “Configure FETA”. You need to execute (double-click) this file before you can use FETA to process your data. This creates the “feta.conf” or “client.conf” files, which are required for processing FFQ data.
Option 2 –
- un-install the FETA software.
- delete any FETA related folders/files left in your system, including client.conf file.
- download the latest software version from our website to somewhere easily accessible i.e. your desktop
- install the FETA software and follow the instructions displayed during the installation process including the one prompting you to double-click the “Configure FETA” file from your desktop
- run the sample input file once the application is installed to check that installation has completed successfully
When I start FETA, the FETA screen disappears after a couple of seconds and I’m not able to use it.
It is possible that the “feta.conf” file from your previous/current FETA install has become corrupted and could still be installed somewhere on your system. It’s most likely to be in the folder: : C:/users/username/... Search for “feta.conf” and delete it. You should be able to use FETA without having to uninstall or configure FETA again.
When I run FETA I get the error “FETA client gave a fatal error” or “unable to allocate memory for parser context”.
Firstly, ensure that your input and output files are closed before running FETA. If this does not solve the problem save the input and output files to your local desktop and try running again.
I’m able to run FETA but not able to understand the output headings i.e. nutrient_1, nutrient_2 etc. What do they mean?
You can get the description of the FETA nutrient/food-group headings from the default nutrients list.
I have an input line validation warning when attempting to run my input file through FETA and then the program freezes.
Check that your input file is saved as a .csv file and the separator is commas, not semi-colons.
Where can I find copies of the FETA look up files?
After downloading FETA the FETA look-up files can be found in “C:\Users\XXXX\AppData\Roaming” where XXXX is your username.
My output file has a higher than expected number of missing ticks in the first row.
Ensure that you have deleted all columns not used by FETA from the input file. The ‘FETA template’ worksheet of the data entry template shows the columns required by FETA.
The EPIC-Norfolk team can be contacted by email if you have any queries or feedback on FETA. Please note, we are not a service provider but will do our best to assist you with resolving any issues you have with FETA. Please ensure that you have checked the troubleshooting section above and the FETA FAQs before contacting us.
References and further reading
See the nutritional methods publications page for references and further reading