evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Associations of dietary diversity scores and micronutrient status in adolescent Mozambican girls

In Under-nutrition on March 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Korkalo, L., Erkkola, M., Heinonen, A.E. et al. Eur J Nutr (2017) 56: 1179.

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Abstract

 

Purpose

In low-income settings, dietary diversity scores (DDSs) often predict the micronutrient adequacy of diets, but little is known about whether they predict levels of biochemical indicators of micronutrient status.

Methods

In 2010, we studied two samples of non-pregnant 14- to 19-year-old girls in central Mozambique, the first in January–February (‘hunger season’; n = 227) and the second in May–June (harvest season; n = 223). In this paper, we examined whether a low Women’s Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS) predicts a low concentration of haemoglobin, serum ferritin, zinc, and folate, and plasma retinol in adolescent Mozambican girls. We constructed three scores: WDDS based on 24-h recalls, WDDS15g based on 24-h recall and employing a 15 g limit, and 7dWDDS based on 7-day food frequency questionnaires. Logistic regression models, stratified by season, were used to estimate the odds of having a low concentration of a status indicator (≤25th percentile of the season-specific distribution or cut-off from the literature) in those with a low score compared to those with a higher score.

Results

In January–February, after adjusting for confounders, a low (≤3) WDDS and a low (≤5) 7dWDDS were each associated with higher odds of having low serum zinc compared to having a higher score, regardless of which of the two types of cut-offs for serum zinc was used. These associations were not present in May–June.

Conclusions

Our data from Mozambique suggest that dietary diversity is associated with serum zinc, but this association seems to be limited to the hunger season.

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