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Module 6: Dietary Diversity Score

Poor households, women of reproductive age, and young children living in resource-poor settings are at high risk of inadequate micronutrient intakes when diets lack diversity. Diets of the poor are dominated by staple foods, which often supply 60-70% of their calories, but fail to provide adequate quantities of micronutrients essential for health. Comparative information on diet quality is scarce, and quantitative data on nutrient intakes are expensive and difficult to gather. At the household level, it is a measure of access to food (Hoddinott and Yohannes, 2002). At the individual level, it has been validated as a proxy for assessing the adequacy of micronutrient intakes of women and children. A number of studies have been conducted to explore how simplified diet diversity indices using major food groups correlate with more detailed consumption data, so that cut of points for determining the likelihood of achieving micronutrient adequacy can be established using easy to collect, diet diversity scores. (Arimond, 2010; Arimond et al., 2011; WHO, 2008).