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Published By:
USAID Advancing Nutrition
Public Health Nutrition
Publication Date:
Journal Article

The Minimum Dietary Diversity (MDD) indicator for children is a simple population-level assessment method for tracking diet quality among children 6–23 month of age. It is defined as the proportion of children 6–23 months of age who receive foods from at least 5 out of 8 defined food groups and is positively associated with dietary micronutrient adequacy and linear growth in young children. 

MDD has been routinely collected in numerous large-scale surveys using two types of 24-hour recall methods. Recently, list-based and multiple-pass methods have been compared to weighed food records (WFR) to assess MDD in women of reproductive age (MDD-W) in Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Zambia. The findings indicated both methods over-estimated the prevalence of MDD-W when compared to WFR. However, it is not known to what extent MDD for children, when constructed from these two recall methods, is accurate when compared to the observation or comparable to each other. To address this evidence gap, USAID Advancing Nutrition designed a study comparing MDD indicator estimation derived from the two dietary recall methods with observed food intake.

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