In resource-poor countries and communities around the world, monotonous low-quality diets are dominated by starchy staple foods and lack sufficient vitamins and minerals. All national dietary guidelines and evidence-based healthy diet patterns advocate diverse diets. Women and young children are at highest risk, with consequences for their health, development and productivity. In addressing this global micronutrient challenge, one key hurdle has been in measuring diet quality.
With the recent launch of the Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age indicator, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in partnership with the USAID-funded Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA), is providing a much-needed resource for measuring dietary diversity, which is one key dimension of diet quality.
With help from the European Union and the UC Davis World Food Center, FAO and FANTA convened a team of international experts, including UC Davis nutrition affiliates Mary Arimond, Edye Kuyper and Barbara Schneeman, who is also a member of the World Food Center's advisory board. They helped develop a new user manual for collecting and analyzing the indicator data.
More about the World Food Center's role