USAID Advancing Nutrition is working with partners to develop country-level adaptations of a low-burden diet quality questionnaire (DQ-Q) that was developed by the the Global Diet Quality Project, a collaboration between Gallup, Harvard, and GAIN. Dr. Anna Herforth, Principal Investigator of the project at Harvard, is leading the adaptations across countries.
While it is understood that poor diet contributes to malnutrition in all its forms, we need better tools to collect data and measure diet quality, particularly in low-resource settings, to inform policies, design interventions and programs, and improve nutrition and health outcomes.
The low-burden DQ-Q facilitates collection of reliable, comparable information on diet quality across country contexts. It asks yes/no questions about consumption of the 29 food groups required to measure the indicators related to the minimum dietary diversity for women, and foods associated with the nutrition transition and diet-related non-communicable diseases, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, salty packaged snacks, and fast food. Not only can this kind of information guide food and agriculture policy-makers, the use of a standardized tool also allows for cross-country comparisons and helps identify program activities that can improve diets.
In the second year of the project, USAID Advancing Nutrition supported the development of a plan for the national-level adaptation of the DQ-Q for 53 countries that implement the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). In its third year, the project will help adapt the DQ-Q for adults, infants, and young children in the 53 DHS countries, and in another 39 countries for infants and young children. USAID Advancing Nutrition will make these tools accessible to all on its free, user-friendly platform.