This study assessed dietary diversity, its relation to micronutrient intake and variability between age-groups among women 19–69 years from informal settlements of Gauteng province, South Africa. The study was cross-sectional, involving 260 women. Dietary intake was obtained from 24-hour recall data, and Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) from Food Frequency Questionnaire, calculated based on 9 food groups and 80 foods. Intake of eleven micronutrients was assessed as Nutrient Adequacy Ratios (NAR) and Mean Adequacy Ratios (MAR), using Estimated Average Requirements and Adequate Intakes of these micronutrients, following Institute of Medicine recommendations. On average, 26 foods and 7 food groups were consumed. There was a strong significantly positive relationship (p<0.001) between the NAR of respective micronutrients (as well as MAR) with the DDS, the relationship was negative with food variety and diversity within food groups; except for vitamin C. Age-group comparisons revealed the older age groups (36-years and older) being at-risk of low micronutrient intake; particularly in calcium, vitamins C and A. In conclusion, dietary diversity was above reference, there was a strong relationship between DDS and micronutrient intake, and there is a significant variation in intake between age-groups, with women 36-years and older being more at-risk of low micronutrient intake.
Key words: Dietary diversity, informal settlements, micronutrients, nutrient adequacy, nutrition education.
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