What are common challenges in measuring Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age?

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The biggest challenges in measuring food group diversity relate to the handling of mixed dishes and the classification of ingredients, particularly those that might be consumed in trivial quantities in any one serving of a mixed dish. Foods prepared outside the home (i.e. not by the respondent) also present challenges. There are two levels of challenges: first in adapting the model questionnaires to new contexts and second in training enumerators to properly record mixed dishes and foods prepared outside the home.

Besides these specific challenges, the overall process of creating a high-quality questionnaire for the first time in a new country or geographic area is a challenge because of the need for appropriate cultural and linguistic adaptation, and well as customisation via local examples of the foods classified into each food group.

Approaches to meeting these challenges are discussed in detail in Sections 2–5 of Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women – A guide to measurement, and in Appendix 2 of the guide, which provides a comprehensive list of example foods for each group.

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