Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), 19-21 November 2014

Introducing the new food-based dietary guidelines website

FAO has launched a new website on food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) which will serve as a platform for information exchange on nutritional guidelines from across the world. The site currently holds a growing collection of FBDGs from more than 100 countries, and will be continuously updated as guidelines are created and revised.

Food-based dietary guidelines are intended to establish a basis for public food and nutrition, health and agricultural policies and nutrition education programmes to foster healthy eating habits and lifestyles. Using short, science-based positive messages on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, FBDGs inform the general public on which foods and eating habits will provide the nutrients they need to promote overall health and prevent chronic diseases.

FBDGs have become increasingly important as the world becomes more globalized and urbanized. Changes in food systems and in lifestyles have resulted in a shift in dietary patterns and loss of traditional food cultures in favour of quick meals and food products of low nutritional value. Because diet is so essential to health, FBDGs are an important tool to shape healthy eating habits and prevent diet-related non-communicable diseases (including type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer).

Worldwide more than 100 countries have developed or are currently developing food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs), with many revised at least once. FAO has supported a large number of Member Countries in the development and implementation of their FBDGs, through the organization of technical expert meetings, the publication of technical documents and the direct provision of technical assistance.

In the months and years following ICN2, these guidelines will help governments shape nutritional policies and nutrition education programmes to promote optimal health for their citizens and fight all forms of malnutrition.

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