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To study dietary diversity and its relationship with socio-economic and nutritional characteristics of women in an urban Sahelian context.
A qualitative dietary recall was performed over a 24-h period. Dietary diversity scores (DDS = number of food groups consumed) were calculated from a list of nine food groups (DDS-9) or from a list of 22 food groups (DDS-22) which detailed both micronutrient- and energy-dense foods more extensively. Body mass index (BMI), mid upper-arm circumference and body fat percentage were used to assess the nutritional status of the women.
Setting and subjects
Five hundred and fifty-seven women randomly selected in two districts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
The mean DDS-9 and DDS-22 were 4.9 ± 1.0 and 6.5 ± 1.8 food groups, respectively. In the high tertile of DDS-22, more women consumed fatty and sweetened foods, fresh fish, non-fatty meat and vitamin-A-rich fruits and vegetables. The DDS-9 was not associated with the women’s socio-economic characteristics whereas the DDS-22 was higher when the women were younger, richer and had received at least a minimum education. Mean BMI of the women was 24.2 ± 4.9 kg m–2 and 37% of them were overweight or obese (BMI ≥ 25 kg m–2). Neither the DDS-9 nor the DDS-22 was associated with the women’s anthropometric status, even though there was a trend towards fewer overweight women in the lowest tertile of DDS-22.
In this urban area, the qualitative measurement of dietary diversity is not sufficient to identify women at risk of under- or overweight.
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