How do mixed dishes count in the dietary diversity score? What about street foods? Fortified and biofortified foods?

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Mixed dishes and street foods are among the biggest challenges encountered in the measurement of food group diversity in diets. Section 2 of Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women – A guide to measurement provides a discussion of these issues and guidance for classifying foods and ingredients into groups. Sections 3 and 4 provide guidance on handling this issue during questionnaire adaptation and enumerator training, respectively.

Fortified foods are less challenging because, for the purposes of measuring food group diversity, they can be categorised in their “home” food group (for example, fortified wheat flour can be categorised with grains, fortified oil with fats and oils). Users interested in capturing coverage with fortified or biofortified foods or products are advised to address this with separate questions or a separate survey module.

Although fortified products can contribute to micronutrient adequacy, such foods are usually fortified with either a single micronutrient or a small number of micronutrients. Their use does not undermine the value of and need for diverse diets, which provide a far wider range of nutrients and bioactive compounds.

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