Seasonal trends of nutrient intake in rainforest communities of north-eastern Madagascar

Christopher D. Golden, Bapu Vaitla, Laurent Ravaoliny, Miadana A. Vonona, E. J. Gasta Anjaranirina, Hervet J. Randriamady, Raymond P. Glahn, Sarah E. Guth, Lia C.H. Fernald, Samuel S. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: We collected dietary records over the course of nine months to comprehensively characterize the consumption patterns of Malagasy people living in remote rainforest areas of north-eastern Madagascar.Design: The present study was a prospective longitudinal cohort study to estimate dietary diversity and nutrient intake for a suite of macronutrients, micronutrients and vitamins for 152 randomly selected households in two communities.Setting: Madagascar, with over 25 million people living in an area the size of France, faces a multitude of nutritional challenges. Micronutrient-poor staples, especially rice, roots and tubers, comprise nearly 80 % of the Malagasy diet by weight. The remaining dietary components (including wild foods and animal-source foods) are critical for nutrition. We focus our study in north-eastern Madagascar, characterized by access to rainforest, rice paddies and local agriculture.Participants: We enrolled men, women and children of both sexes and all ages in a randomized sample of households in two communities.Results: Although the Household Dietary Diversity Score and Food Consumption Score reflect high dietary diversity, the Minimum Dietary Diversity-Women indicator suggests poor micronutrient adequacy. The food intake data confirm a mixed nutritional picture. We found that the median individual consumed less than 50 % of his/her age/sex-specific Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for vitamins A, B12, D and E, and Ca, and less than 100 % of his/her EAR for energy, riboflavin, folate and Na.Conclusions: Malnutrition in remote communities of north-eastern Madagascar is pervasive and multidimensional, indicating an urgent need for comprehensive public health and development interventions focused on providing nutritional security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2200-2209
Number of pages10
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal-source foods
  • Dietary intake
  • Food security
  • Micronutrients
  • Planetary health
  • Wild foods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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