Assessing Dietary Diversity in Pregnant Women: Relative Validity of the List-Based and Open Recall Methods. uri icon


  • Background: The Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MMD-W) was validated as a proxy of micronutrient adequacy for nonpregnant women, with proposed data collection being either a list-based or a qualitative open recall method. Few studies have compared the performance of these 2 methods.
  • Conclusions: Our study provides initial support for the use of list-based questionnaires in assessing food group diversity or prevalence of MDD-W in pregnant women. Additional and context-specific work may be required to understand the potential of simple methodologies to assess consumption of specific food groups.
  • Methods: Data were collected in Bangladesh (n = 600 pregnant women) and India (n = 655). The performance of different indicators to predict micronutrient adequacy was compared using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Correlations between list-based and open recall FGIs were calculated using Spearman's rank test; agreement was assessed by the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and kappa statistics. Food groups that were most often misreported by the list-based method were identified.
  • Objectives: We compared performance in predicting micronutrient adequacy of food group indicators (FGIs) measured by the list-based and the quantitative open recall methods using varying quantity cut-offs. We also examined the agreement between list-based and open recall FGIs.
  • Results: There were no statistically significant differences in ROC curves between list-based and open recall FGIs in either country. In Bangladesh, correlations between list-based and open recall FGIs varied between 0.6 and 0.8; ICC values were 0.43-0.75; kappa values were 0.51-0.53 when using a cut-off of any quantity or 15 g for open recall, but were lower (k = 0.24) with the cut-off of 1 portion. In India, these values were lower: similar to 0.4 for correlation, 0.32-0.37 for ICCs, and 0.17-0.22 for kappas. Food groups most susceptible to misreporting using the list-based method were beans/peas in Bangladesh and other vegetables in India.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020