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The current paper describes methods of evaluating dietary habits of Sri Lankan adolescents based on the Diet Quality Index–International (DQI-I), which has been used in multiple international studies to describe dietary variety, moderation, adequacy and balance. The paper describes the method for calculating DQI-I scores and examines associations between DQI-I scores and dietary intake, and between DQI-I scores and sociodemographic factors.
The study followed a three-stage cluster randomised sampling method. Dietary intake was collected using a validated FFQ. Estimated micronutrient intakes and number of servings consumed were described according to DQI-I quartiles. DQI-I scores were tabulated according to sociodemographic characteristics. Multilevel modelling was used to examine associations between sociodemographic characteristics and DQI-I scores.
Secondary schools in rural Sri Lanka.
Adolescents (n 1300) aged 12–18 years attending secondary school in rural Sri Lanka.
DQI-I scores increased with consumption of fat (% energy), cholesterol (mg/d), energy (kJ/d), protein (% energy), Na (mg), dietary fibre (g), Fe (mg) and Ca (mg), but decreased according to percentage of energy coming from carbohydrates. DQI-I scores were significantly lower among females and students with lower levels of maternal education.
Policies are needed to increase the availability and affordability of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and high-protein foods, particularly to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Significant differences in diet quality according to sex, socio-economic status and district suggest there is potential for targeted interventions that aim to increase access to affordable, nutrient-rich foods among these groups.
The main aim of the present study was to identify food consumption in Sri Lankan adults based on serving characteristics.
Cross-sectional study. Fruits, vegetables, starch, meat, pulses, dairy products and added sugars in the diet were assessed with portion sizes estimated using standard methods.
Twelve randomly selected clusters from the Sri Lanka Diabetes and Cardiovascular Study.
Six hundred non-institutionalized adults.
The daily intake of fruit (0·43), vegetable (1·73) and dairy (0·39) portions were well below national recommendations. Only 3·5 % of adults consumed the recommended 5 portions of fruits and vegetables/d; over a third of the population consumed no dairy products and fewer than 1 % of adults consumed 2 portions/d. In contrast, Sri Lankan adults consumed over 14 portions of starch and 3·5 portions of added sugars daily. Almost 70 % of those studied exceeded the upper limit of the recommendations for starch intake. The total daily number of meat and pulse portions was 2·78.
Dietary guidelines emphasize the importance of a balanced and varied diet; however, a substantial proportion of the Sri Lankan population studied failed to achieve such a recommendation. Nutrition-related diseases in the country may be closely correlated with unhealthy eating habits.
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