Micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent among childbearing age women, but little information is available on adolescent girls’ micronutrient intake in South Asia. This study aims to: 1) compare the probability of adequacy (PA) of micronutrient intakes between pregnant adolescents (n=162) and pregnant adult women (n=438); 2) examine the performance of the new women’s dietary diversity score (WDDS-10 food groups (FG) for predicting mean PA (MPA) of 11 micronutrients in adolescents and estimating the percentage with greater likelihood of meeting micronutrient needs (using recommended >5 FG cut-off).
We used data from a household survey conducted in Bangladesh in 2015 and estimated WDDS and micronutrient intakes using 24-hour recall complemented by food weighing.
There were no statistically significant differences between adolescent and adult pregnant women in mean WDDS (4.6 ±1.3), MPA (0.44 ±0.19), or any PA for individual micronutrients. PAs were low (<0.30) for vitamin A, B-2, B-12 and folate; extremely low for bioavailable iron (0.04); and 0.37-0.45 for zinc. WDDS was significantly associated with MPA in adjusted models (R2 ~0.50). Using an MPA of 0.50, the best WDDS cut-off point for both groups was 6 FG (correctly classified 65.2%, compared to 52.5% with the currently recommended cut-off of 5 FG).
The diets of Bangladeshi pregnant adolescents and pregnant adult women were similar and alarmingly inadequate in several micronutrients. The WDDS predicted MPA equally well for both groups, but a 6 FG cut-off was superior to the recommended 5 FG for classifying likelihood of meeting micronutrient needs.