Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) *
English: the average number of different food groups consumed by the household the previous day or night
French: le nombre moyen des différents groupes d'aliments consommés par le ménage le jour ou la nuit précédents
Czech: průměrný počet potravinových skupin konzumovaných členy domácnosti během uplynulého dne a noci
What is its purpose?
HDDS assesses a household's economic access to food (i.e. its ability to produce, purchase or otherwise secure food for consumption by all household members). It does not provide data on the nutritional quality of a person's diet.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting interviews with the members of a representative sample of your target households:
1) Check whether yesterday was a special day (religious festival or celebration) when unusually varied or limited diet was eaten - if so, do not proceed with collecting dietary data as it is likely that they will not reflect a typical diet.
2) List all meals which the household ate in the previous day in the Recording Meals Form (see link below).
3) Double check the meals' composition (e.g. porridge with or without milk).
4) Check for any snacks (including fruits) which were not mentioned.
5) Only then record in the questionnaire which food groups were eaten. Ask the respondent regarding eaten foods from groups that were not mentioned (for example: "Did your household members yesterday eat any eggs?")
6) Count the number of food groups consumed by the interviewed household's members, creating their Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS).
7) Calculate the indicator's value by summing up the scores of all the assessed households and dividing the result by the total number of assessed households.
1) As opposed to IDDS, which uses 7 or 9 food groups, HDDS works with 12 food groups (for details, see FAO's guidelines below).
2) HDDS is prone to seasonal differences. Do your best to collect baseline and endline data at the same time of a year; otherwise it is very likely that they will not be comparable.
3) Do not collect data during fasting periods, such as pre-Easter time or Ramadan.
5) Include also meals eaten outside of the household.
6) Do not record foods in quantities lower than one tea spoon (for example, a small amount of fish powder added for flavouring).
For more tips, see website with guidance on IDDS.
Access Additional Guidance
- FAO (2010) Guidelines for Measuring Household and Individual Dietary Diversity (.pdf)
- PIN (2015) Practical Checklist for Conducting Nutrition Surveys (.pdf)
- PIN (2016) Recording Meals Form for Assessing Dietary Diversity - Household (.docx)