Like several indigenous populations, Sauria Paharias, a vulnerable indigenous tribal group residing in a biodiverse environment of Jharkhand, India, have high levels of undernutrition. We assessed agroforestry and dietary diversity, food consumption especially indigenous food (IF) intake and nutritional status of Sauria Paharia women through a cross-sectional study conducted in 18 villages of Godda district, Jharkhand. Household level information was elicited through household surveys including a dietary survey and a food frequency questionnaire. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls (24 HDR) and anthropometric assessments were taken on one randomly selected woman per household. An index, Food Accessed Diversity Index (FADI) created to measure agroforestry diversity, showed a low mean score of 0.21 ± 0.15 and range: 0, 0.85. Fifty-nine percent of women consumed any IF during 24 HDR. Median minimum dietary diversity score for women (MDD-W) was 3 (acceptable score ≥5). More than 96% of women had intakes below estimated average requirements for all nutrients studied (energy; vitamins A, C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine; folate; iron; calcium and zinc) except protein; 41% women were underweight. IF consumption was independently associated with calcium and vitamin A intake. Decision trees developed for micronutrient consumption at different levels of MDD-W score and IF consumption scenarios revealed 1.3 to 2.9 times higher consumption of micronutrients among women with MDD-W ≥ 3 or 4. Strategies like agricultural extension programmes promoting indigenous varieties and nutrition education for increasing dietary diversity with IFs have potential to address undernutrition in Sauria Paharia women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- dietary diversity
- indigenous foods