Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women

Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women is a 6-item indicator of a diet made of sufficient food diversity to support the nutritional needs of women of reproductive age. This indicator is collected at the individual level and is meant to reflect nutritional adequacy at the population level. The questionnaire can be administered using an open-response methodology (as shown below) or list-based methodology. Further information about this measure can be found here.


Geographies Tested:

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adults


Now I'd like to ask you to describe everything that you ate or drank yesterday during the day or night, whether you ate it at home or anywhere else. Please include all foods and drinks, any snacks or small meals, as well as any main meals. Remember to include all foods you may have eaten while preparing meals or preparing food for others. Please also include food you ate even if it was eaten elsewhere, away from your home. Let's start with the first food or drink consumed yesterday.

1. Did you have anything to eat or drink when you woke? If yes, what? Anything else?
2. Did you have anything to eat later in the morning? If yes, what? Anything else?
3. Did you eat or drink anything at mid-day? If yes, what? Anything else?
4. Did you have anything to eat or drink during the afternoon? If yes, what? Anything else?
5. Did you have anything to eat in the evening? If yes, what? Anything else?
6. Did you have anything else to eat or drink in the evening before going to bed or during the night? If yes, what? Anything else?

For each eating episode, after the respondent mentions foods and drinks, probe to ask if she ate or drank anything else. Continue probing until she says "no, nothing else." If the respondent mentions a mixed dish like a soup or stew, ask for all the ingredients in the mixed dish. For mixed dishes where it is possible to pick out ingredients or consume only broth, ask if she herself ate each ingredient or if she only had the broth. Continue to probe about ingredients until she says "nothing else."

Response Options:
Foods made from grains
White roots and tubers and plantains
Pulses (beans, peas and lentils)
Nuts and seeds
Milk and milk products
Organ meat
Meat and poultry
Fish and seafood
Dark green leafy vegetables
Vitamin A-rich vegetables, roots and tubers
Vitamin A-rich fruits
Other vegetables
Other fruits

Scoring Procedures

This measure is scored as a dichotomous indicator of whether the respondent consumed at least 5 of the 10 food groups in the last 24-hours as defined by the 10 response options. The food groups are mutually exclusive and optional food groups can be added to the questionnaire as determined by the context.

Original Citation

FAO & FHI 360 (2016). Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women: A guide for measurement.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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