Why are there more food groups on the Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age model questionnaire than in the indicator?

By on

The Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age (MDD-W) indicator includes ten food groups:

  1. Grains, white roots and tubers, and plantains
  2. Pulses (beans, peas and lentils)
  3. Nuts and seeds
  4. Dairy
  5. Meat, poultry and fish
  6. Eggs
  7. Dark green leafy vegetables
  8. Other vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables
  9. Other vegetables
  10. Other fruits

However, to make the questionnaire more intuitive for enumerators, three of the MDD-W food groups are divided into subgroups. “Grains, white roots and tubers, and plantains” provide one point when calculating the score, but there are two subgroups (i.e. rows) on the questionnaire, one for grains and foods made with grain and one for white roots, tubers and plantains. Meat, poultry and fish provide one “point” when calculating the indicator, but there are three subgroups (i.e. rows) on the questionnaire (one each for meat, poultry and fish/seafood). The “Other vitamin-A rich fruits and vegetables” group is divided into two subgroups (i.e. rows): one for vitamin A-rich fruits and one for vitamin A-rich vegetables, other than dark green leafy vegetables.

In addition to these subgroups, which result in 14 rows on the questionnaire, there are 6 optional categories and 2 required categories on the questionnaire. None of these count in the calculation of MDD-W.

The optional categories are:

  • Insects and other small protein foods
  • Red palm oil
  • Other oils and fats
  • Savoury and fried snacks
  • Sweets
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages

The required categories are:

  • Condiments and seasonings
  • Other beverages and foods

See Section 2 of Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women – A guide to measurement for a full explanation of all MDD-W food groups and of other optional and required categories for the questionnaire.

USAID logo