Dietary Diversity and Its Related Factors among Adolescents: A Survey in Ahvaz-Iran

  •  Mahdis Vakili    
  •  Parvin Abedi    
  •  Mehrdad Sharifi    
  •  Mostafa Hosseini    


Introduction: Healthy growth and development essentially need a balanced diet of nutrients and vitamins which includes a variety of foods from different food groups. The primary aim of this study was to assess the dietary diversity (DD) and its related factors among adolescents’ high school girls in Ahvaz-Iran. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study which it was structured based on the WHO & FAO's dietary diversity questionnaire. The study population consisted of 506 high school girls aged 15 to 18. Data about diet, socio-demographic and anthropometric characteristics were gathered. A dietary diversity score (DDS) and anthropometric of girls were measured. The relation of DDS with anthropometric measures and economic situation were assessed. Results: The mean DDS was 6.81±1.75. A total of 18.85% and 8.3% of participants were overweight and obese respectively. In participants with scores >or= six, Body Mass Index, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio were slightly greater than in individuals with scores less than six, however it was not significant except for waist hip ratio. The Logistic Regression showed that; weak economical situation was a risk for poor DDS (OR= 3.5, CI= 1.06-10.6, p=0.03). Conclusion: The FAO's third version of guidelines is a good indicator for measuring DDS. The results of this study indicate that high school girls’ knowledge and practice about dietary diversity are not good and need to be improved by educational classes.

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