Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women

Instrument Details

Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women


Dietary assessment

24-hour dietary recall

9th May 2022

Divya Bhagtani, MRC Epidemiology Unit

Developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W) is an indicator based on the consumption of 10 food groups and is used for measuring population-level dietary diversity in women of reproductive age. The 10 food groups included in the indicator are: 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; and 10. Other fruits. Based on this indicator, women who consumed at least 5 of the 10 food groups over the previous 24-hour period are classified as having minimally adequate dietary diversity. MDD-W has been validated for women aged 15-49 years. Respondents are asked to recall the food groups that they consumed over the previous 24-hours using either a list-based method (which asks about consumption of each of the 10 food groups), or an open recall (where respondents recall all foods consumed during the previous day, and the enumerator or interviewer classifies foods consumed into their respective food groups). The enumerator must record whether the respondent did, or did not, consume foods from each of the 10 food groups and then add the total number of food groups consumed. MDD-W may be useful particularly in resource-constrained settings where they can be administered to monitor and evaluate programs that aim to improve dietary diversity. The MDD-W is a simple and easy to interpret tool that can be used for communication especially with non-nutrition audiences.

Instrument Characteristics
aquisition  -> Self report - Interviewer administered or assisted
aquisition  -> Proxy-report (on behalf of someone else, e.g. a child or other)
aquisition  -> Interview
aquisition  -> Paper and pen
aquisition  -> Computer (on or offline)
aquisition  -> Tablet
timeframe  -> Day or days
retrospective prospective  -> Retrospective (e.g. 24h recall or Food frequency questionnaire)
portion size  -> None
Instrument Estimates
Food groups
Instrument Validities
Populations Countries Reference Link
Adolescents, Adults Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, Philippines, Uganda
Adolescents, Adults Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, Philippines
Instrument Implementations
Populations Countries Link
Adults Ethiopia
Adolescents, Adults Fiji, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Adolescents, Adults South Africa