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Public Health Nutr. 2009 Sep;12(9):1470-6. doi: 10.1017/S1368980008004424. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Community-specific modifications are essential for objective assessment of maternal dietary intake--Pune Maternal Nutrition Study.

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Biometry and Nutrition Group, Agharkar Research Institute, G.G. Agarkar Road, Pune 411 004, India.



To introduce community-specific modifications in the conventional 24 h recall method for objectively estimating maternal dietary intake and validate it with a reference method.


A modified 24 h recall method was developed with the visit of trained local girls at the subject's home to weigh portion sizes at each mealtime over the 24 h recall period. This was validated with the reference method in which weighed records of the foods consumed were obtained and their laboratory analysis was done to obtain nutrient intakes.


Rural areas located 40-50 km from Pune City, India.


Forty-one pregnant women participated willingly.


The estimates of intake obtained from the reference method were comparable to those obtained from the modified 24 h recall method for energy (7795 (sd 1841) kJ (1863 (sd 440) kcal) v. 7615 (sd 1824) kJ (1820 (sd 436) kcal), respectively), protein (48.6 (sd 12.9) g v. 45.3 (sd 12.6) g, respectively) and fat (35.3 (sd 16.6) g v. 36.0 (sd 14.2) g, respectively). Significant correlation was observed between the estimates obtained by the two methods for energy (0.75, P < 0.001), protein (0.71, P < 0.001) and fat (0.56, P < 0.001) and differences in nutrient intake did not reveal any systematic bias. When compared with the reference method, the modified method showed >80% sensitivity and specificity for identifying inadequate maternal energy intakes.


Simple modifications to conventional methods backed by understanding of community specifics and nutritional peculiarities are of immense importance in obtaining objective estimates of daily nutritional intakes of individuals in free-living populations. The approach would be adaptable in similar settings in other developing countries.

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