Low dietary diversity and micronutrient adequacy among lactating women in a peri-urban area of Nepal

Sigrun Henjum, Liv Elin Torheim, Andrew L. Thorne-Lyman, Ram Chandyo, Wafaie W. Fawzi, Prakash S. Shrestha, Tor A. Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective The main objectives were to assess the adequacy of the micronutrient intakes of lactating women in a peri-urban area in Nepal and to describe the relationships between micronutrient intake adequacy, dietary diversity and sociodemographic variables. Design A cross-sectional survey was performed during 2008-2009. We used 24 h dietary recall to assess dietary intake on three non-consecutive days and calculated the probability of adequacy (PA) of the usual intake of eleven micronutrients and the overall mean probability of adequacy (MPA). A mean dietary diversity score (MDDS) was calculated of eight food groups averaged over 3 d. Multiple linear regression was used to identify the determinants of the MPA. Setting Bhaktapur municipality, Nepal. Subjects Lactating women (n 500), 17-44 years old, randomly selected. Results The mean usual energy intake was 8464 (sd 1305) kJ/d (2023 (sd 312) kcal/d), while the percentage of energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates was 11 %, 13 % and 76 %, respectively. The mean usual micronutrient intakes were below the estimated average requirements for all micronutrients, with the exception of Vitamin C and Zn. The MPA across eleven micronutrients was 0·19 (sd 0·16). The diet was found to be monotonous (MDDS was 3·9 (sd 1·0)) and rice contributed to about 60 % of the energy intake. The multiple regression analyses showed that MPA was positively associated with energy intake, dietary diversity, women's educational level and socio-economic status, and was higher in the winter. Conclusions The low micronutrient intakes are probably explained by low dietary diversity and a low intake of micronutrient-rich foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3201-3210
Number of pages10
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number17
StatePublished - Feb 15 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary diversity
  • Lactating women
  • Micronutrient adequacy
  • Peri-urban Nepal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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