Dietary Assessment: A resource guide to method selection and application in low resource settings
FAO provides countries with technical support to conduct nutrition assessments, in particular to build the evidence base required for countries to achieve commitments made at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and under the 2016-2025 UN Decade of Action on Nutrition. Such concrete evidence can only derive from precise and valid measures of what people eat and drink. There is a wide range of dietary assessment methods available to measure food and nutrient intakes (expressed as energy insufficiency, diet quality and food patterns etc.) in diet and nutrition surveys, in impact surveys, and in monitoring and evaluation. Differenct indicators can be selected according to a study's objectives, sample population, costs and required precision. In low capacity settings, a number of other issues should be considered (e.g. availability of food composition tables, cultural and community specific issues, such as intra-household distribution of foods and eating from shared plates, etc.).
This manual aims to signpost for the users the best way to measure food and nutrient intakes and to enhance their understanding of the key features, strengths and limitations of various methods. It also highlights a number of common methodological considerations involved in the selection process. Target audience comprises of individuals (policy-makers, programme managers, educators, health professionals including dietitians and nutritionists, field workers and researchers) involved in national surveys, programme planning and monitoring and evaluation in low capacity settings, as well as those in charge of knowledge brokering for policy-making.
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