Guidelines for measuring household and individual dietary diversity


Guidelines
for measuring household
and individual dietary diversity

 



Download Full Report  [1Mb]      


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2012


ABSTRACT

Obtaining detailed data on household food access or individual dietary intake can be time consuming and expensive, and requires a high level of technical skill both in data collection and analysis. Dietary diversity is a qualitative measure of food consumption that reflects household access to a variety of foods, and is also a proxy for nutrient adequacy of the diet of individuals. The dietary diversity questionnaire represents a rapid, user-friendly and easily administered low-cost assessment tool.

Scoring and analysis of the information collected with the questionnaire is straightforward. The dietary diversity scores described in these guidelines consist of a simple count of food groups that a household or an individual has consumed over the preceding 24 hours. The guidelines describe the use of the dietary diversity questionnaire at both the household and individual level, for which calculation of the score is slightly different in each case. The data collected can also be analyzed to provide information on specific food groups of interest.

The rationale for these guidelines is to provide a standardized questionnaire of universal applicability from which various dietary diversity scores can be calculated. As such it is not culture, population, or location specific and therefore, prior to using it in the field, it will be necessary to adapt it to the local context.

The guidelines describe how to adapt and use the dietary diversity questionnaire, how to calculate each of the scores and how to create other indicators of interest from dietary diversity data.




The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106749-9

All rights reserved. FAO encourages reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product. Non-commercial uses will be authorized free of charge, upon request. Reproduction for resale or other commercial purposes, including educational purposes, may incur fees. Applications for permission to reproduce or disseminate FAO copyright materials, and all queries concerning rights and licences, should be addressed by e-mail to copyright@fao.org or to the:

Chief
Publishing Policy and Support Branch
Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension - FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to: copyright@fao.org

© FAO 2012