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The objective of the present study was to explore whether dietary patterns (DP) are associated with nutritional status indicators among adolescent Mozambican girls.
In this population-based cross-sectional study we used the FFQ data of 547 girls aged 14–19 years from Central Mozambique to derive dietary patterns by means of principal component analysis. We used two-level linear regression models to examine the associations between the DP and anthropometric and biochemical indicators of nutritional status.
We identified three DP: ‘Urban bread and fats’, ‘Rural meat and vegetables’ and ‘Rural cassava and coconut’. The ‘Urban bread and fats’ DP was positively associated with BMI-for-age Z-score (BMIZ), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), triceps skinfold (P for all<0·001) and blood Hb (P=0·025). A negative association was observed between the ‘Urban bread and fats’ DP and serum folate (P<0·001). The ‘Rural meat and vegetables’ DP and the ‘Rural cassava and coconut’ DP were associated negatively with BMIZ, MUAC and triceps skinfold (P for all<0·05), but the ‘Rural meat and vegetables’ DP was associated positively with serum ferritin (P=0·007).
Urban and rural DP were associated with nutritional status indicators. In a low-resource setting, urban diets may promote body fat storage and blood Hb concentrations but compromise serum folate concentration. It is important to continue valuing the traditional, rural foods that are high in folate.
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