Article

Food variety and dietary diversity scores in children: are they good indicators of dietary adequacy?

Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle Unit, Medical Research Council, PO Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa.
Public Health Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.48). 08/2006; 9(5):644-50. DOI: 10.1079/PHN2005912
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess whether a food variety score (FVS) and/or a dietary diversity score (DDS) are good indicators of nutrient adequacy of the diet of South African children.
Secondary data analyses were undertaken with nationally representative data of 1-8-year-old children (n = 2200) studied in the National Food Consumption Study in 1999. An average FVS (mean number of different food items consumed from all possible items eaten) and DDS (mean number of food groups out of nine possible groups) were calculated. A nutrient adequacy ratio (NAR) is the ratio of a subject's nutrient intake to the estimated average requirement calculated using the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (2002) recommended nutrient intakes for children. The mean adequacy ratio (MAR) was calculated as the sum of NARs for all evaluated nutrients divided by the number of nutrients evaluated, expressed as a percentage. MAR was used as a composite indicator for micronutrient adequacy. Pearson correlation coefficients between FVS, DDS and MAR were calculated and also evaluated for sensitivity and specificity, with MAR taken as the ideal standard of adequate intake. The relationships between MAR and DDS and between anthropometric Z-scores and DDS were also evaluated.
The children had a mean FVS of 5.5 (standard deviation (SD) 2.5) and a mean DDS of 3.6 (SD 1.4). The mean MAR (ideal = 100%) was 50%, and was lowest (45%) in the 7-8-year-old group. The items with the highest frequency of consumption were from the cereal, roots and tuber group (99.6%), followed by the 'other group' (87.6%) comprising items such as tea, sugar, jam and sweets. The dairy group was consumed by 55.8%, meat group by 54.1%, fats by 38.9%, other vegetables by 30.8%, vitamin-A-rich by 23.8%, other fruit by 22%, legumes and nuts by 19.7% and eggs by 13.3%. There was a high correlation between MAR and both FVS (r = 0.726; P < 0.0001) and DDS (r = 0.657; P < 0.0001), indicating that either FVS or DDS can be used as an indicator of the micronutrient adequacy of the diet. Furthermore, MAR, DDS and FVS showed significant correlations with height-for-age and weight-for-age Z-scores, indicating a strong relationship between dietary diversity and indicators of child growth. A DDS of 4 and an FVS of 6 were shown to be the best indicators of MAR less than 50%, since they provided the best sensitivity and specificity.
Either FVS or DDS can be used as a simple and quick indicator of the micronutrient adequacy of the diet.

1 Bookmark
 · 
304 Views
  • Source
    British Food Journal 01/2015; 117(1):286-301. · 0.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dietary diversity is gaining prominence in assessing diet adequacy of individuals and households in developing countries. Dietary diversity or food variety is not known in Tobago. This study's purpose therefore was to assess dietary diversity, food variety and its relationship to the nutritional status of preschool children. A cross-sectional descriptive study design was implemented and a structured, culturally sensitive questionnaire with a 24-hour recall procedure was used for data collection. A representative sample (n=423), stratified by parish, population density, gender and age, was recruited from public and private pre-schools. Less than half (48%) of the preschoolers met minimum dietary diversity. Approximately 33% consumed food items from 5 or more food groups and 19%had low dietary diversity scores (DDS). Mean scores were obtained for food variety (9.37 ± 2.4) and diversity (4.19 ± .83). Nutrient adequacy ratios (NAR) for eleven nutrients were calculated and correlated with DDS, food variety scores (FVS) and nutrition indices. Notable percentages (11.35%) of the children had acute malnutrition, while 10% were underweight and ~5% exhibited chronic malnutrition. NAR for various micronutrients were significantly (p ≤ 0.01) correlated with DDS. NAR for energy moderately predicted weight-for-age (WAZ) z-scores (r=0.437, p=0.000), height-for-age (HAZ) z-scores (r=0.413, p=0.001) and weight-for-height (WHZ) z-scores (r=0.466, p=0.000). With notable levels of malnutrition and minimum dietary diversity observed among this group of preschoolers, it is important that stakeholders work collaboratively in coming up with integrated approaches to health and nutrition, in order to improve the wellbeing of its children.
    Austin Journal of Nutrition and Food Science. 09/2014; 2(2):7-2014.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, changes in growth parameters and nutrient intake were compared in Chinese children (ages 30-60 months) with picky eating (PE) behaviors and weight-for-height ≤25th percentile, who were randomized to receive nutrition counseling alone (NC; n = 76) or with a nutritional milk supplement (NC + NS; n = 77) for 120 days. Increases in weight-for-height z-scores were significantly greater in the NC + NS group at days 30 and 90 and over the entire study period (all P < 0.05), but not at day 120. Increases in weight-for-age z-scores were significantly greater in the NC + NS group at day 90 (P = 0.025) and over the entire study period (P = 0.046). Mean intakes of energy, protein, carbohydrate, docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, calcium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6 were significantly higher in the NC + NS group at days 60 and 120 (all P < 0.01). Thus, in young children with PE behaviors, nutritional supplementation given as an adjunct to NC resulted in greater improvements in nutrient intake compared with NC alone. Growth parameters differed between groups at several timepoints during the study, but not at day 120.
    Nutrition and Metabolic Insights 01/2014; 7:85-94.

Full-text (3 Sources)

Download
71 Downloads
Available from
May 16, 2014