What does the Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age indicator NOT mean?

By on

Because the indicator is calculated based on a single day, and because it is calculated without information on quantities consumed, the indicator does not provide information about diet quality for individual women.

Even for groups of women, meeting the threshold of five or more food groups does not guarantee that micronutrient needs are met, though it increases the likelihood that they are being met. Whether or not intakes are adequate depends on quantities of nutrient-dense foods consumed, as well as on dietary diversity.

For the same reasons noted above (normal day-to-day variability and lack of information on quantity), Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age (MDD-W) is not the best indicator for many research settings and questions. Quantitative recalls, repeated recalls and locally validated food frequency questionnaires would all provide stronger measures for use in research using a variety of analytic approaches. The MDD-W indicator was not designed as a research tool.

USAID logo