Dietary Diversity as a Household Food
Security Indicator (2002)
Dietary diversity, defined as the number of unique foods consumed over
a given period of time, is a useful approach for measuring food security
and monitoring changes, particularly when resources for such measurements are scarce.
FANTA conducted a series of activities aimed at developing
user-friendly, cost-effective approaches to measuring changes in dietary quantity
and quality and feeding behaviors at both the household and individual levels. For one such activity, FANTA’s subcontractor,
the International Food Policy Research Institute, analyzed household data sets from 10 countries to
assess whether dietary diversity could be used as a tool in evaluating the efficacy
of food security interventions. The study validated the dietary diversity indicator
as a measure of access to food (per capita expenditures) and as a measure of consumption
(caloric availability at the household level).
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