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Predicting dietary intakes with simple food recall information: a case study from rural Mozambique

Abstract

Objective: Improving dietary status is an important development objective, but monitoring of progress in this area can be too costly for many low-income countries. This paper demonstrates a simple, inexpensive technique for monitoring household diets in Mozambique.

Design: Secondary analysis of data from an intensive field survey on household food consumption and agricultural practices, known as the Nampula/Cabo Delgado Study (NCD).

Subjects: In total, 388 households in 16 villages from a stratified random sample of rural areas in Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces in northern Mozambique.

Methods: The NCD employed a quantitative 24-h food recall on two nonconsecutive days in each of the three different seasons. A dietary intake prediction model was developed with linear regression techniques based on NCD nutrient intake data and easy-to-collect variables, such as food group consumption and household size The model was used to predict the prevalence of low intakes among subsamples from the field study using only easy-to-collect variables.

Results: Using empirical data for the harvest season from the original NCD study, 40% of the observations on households had low-energy intakes, whereas rates of low intake for protein, vitamin A, and iron, were 14, 94, and 39, respectively. The model developed here predicted that 42% would have low-energy intakes and that 12, 93, and 35% would have low-protein, vitamin A, and iron intakes, respectively. Similarly, close predictions were found using an aggregate index of overall diet quality.

Conclusions: This work demonstrates the potential for using low-cost methods for monitoring dietary intake in Mozambique.

Sponsorship: Michigan State University and the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the hard work of Paul Strasberg, who coordinated the original field data collection effort as part of his doctoral dissertation, as well as all the Mozambican analysts and field workers, including Jose Jaime Jeje, Ana Paula Santos, Higino Marrule, and Rui Benfica who assisted us with this work.

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Authors and Affiliations

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Contributions

Guarantor: D Rose.

Contributors: DR designed this study and performed the data analysis. DT is co-director of MSU's Mozambique Food Security Project, under which both the original field work and this secondary data analysis were conducted. DR was the lead author and DT was the second author on the write-up of this paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to D Rose.

Appendix

Appendix

Nutrient reference standards (see Table 7).

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Rose, D., Tschirley, D. Predicting dietary intakes with simple food recall information: a case study from rural Mozambique. Eur J Clin Nutr 57, 1212–1221 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601671

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601671

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Mozambique
  • household study
  • dietary assessment methods
  • diet quality index
  • nutrient intake

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