This study aimed to investigate the effects of factor rotation methods on interpretability and construct validity of dietary patterns derived in a representative sample of 1,102 Brazilian adults. Dietary patterns were derived from exploratory factor analysis. Orthogonal (varimax) and oblique rotations (promax, direct oblimin) were applied. Confirmatory factor analysis assessed construct validity of the dietary patterns derived according to two factor loading cut-offs (≥ |0.20| and ≥ |0.25|). Goodness-of-fit indexes assessed the model fit. Differences in composition and in interpretability of the first pattern were observed between varimax and promax/oblimin at cut-off ≥ |0.20|. At cut-off ≥ |0.25|, these differences were no longer observed. None of the patterns derived at cut-off ≥ |0.20| showed acceptable model fit. At cut-off ≥ |0.25|, the promax rotation produced the best model fit. The effects of factor rotation on dietary patterns differed according to the factor loading cut-off used in exploratory factor analysis.
Food Consumption; Food Habits; Public Health Nutrition; Statistical Factor Analysis