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Minimum acceptable diet indicators

This question was posted the Assessment and Surveillance forum area and has 1 replies.

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Batakafua Bapandayi Pascal

Nutritionniste ONG FONLIV

Normal user

25 Aug 2022, 11:43

What indicators should be taken into account when measuring the minimum acceptable diet for children aged 6 to 23 months, pregnant women and adolescents?

Philip McKinney

Nutrition Survey & Research Advisor (Concern)

Normal user

25 Aug 2022, 12:46

Hey there

There are some standard indicators to consider (with some caveats required for pregnant women and adolescents).  The current, most recognised, indicators you should consider for HH / Individual surveys are:

For children 6-23months the most widely accepted indicator would be the WHO 2021 IYCF indicator Minimum Acceptable Diet (MAD). 

For pregnant women: this is tricker as the standard indicator for women (of reproductive age) is not validated for pregnant women.  The FAO Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDDW) can provide insights but as stated, reqiures caution when interpreting for women.  The guide is updated recently and reflects the changes in the WHO IYCF guidelines and the amount of detail in this guide is quite excellent and should answer many of your questions.

For adolescents there is no specific (widely accetped) indicator for this age group.  FAO does have guidelines on individual dietary diversity (incorportated into their household dietary diversity score (HDDS).  I have seen some studies having used the individual dietary diversity score used for adolescents.

While you do not provide any information as to the context of this data collection there is always a need for care when interpreting your results and to note that if you are including all these groups in the one survey this represents a lot of data collection which requires good enumerator training, data collection, and supervision.

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