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Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - The Netherlands

Official name

Guidelines for healthy dietary choices (Dutch: Richtlijnen voedselkeuze).

Publication year

The guidelines were published in 2007 and partially revised and republished in 2011. The dietary guidelines and the food guide are currently being revised.

Process and stakeholders

The Netherlands Nutrition Center is responsible for developing food-based dietary guidelines in line with scientific advice provided by the National Health Council. Universities, nutrition institutes and the food industry were consulted during the development process. The guidelines are endorsed by the Ministry of Health.

Intended audience

The guidelines are directed at the healthy population over 1 year of age. They include specific recommendations of foods to be eaten on a daily basis for different population groups.

The guidelines document is used by professionals, particularly health providers and nutritionists. The food guide, the Wheel of Five, is used for public education.

Food guide

The food-based dietary guidelines are represented by the Wheel of Five (Dutch: Schijf van Vijf). The wheel is divided into four food groups and one beverage group. Fruits and vegetables and carbohydrate sources are shown at the top and cover more than half of the disk. Animal source foods, fats and oils comprise a much smaller part. Water and other beverages such as tea, coffee and milk complete the wheel.


  • Eat a variety of foods.
  • Do not eat too much and undertake some physical activity.
  • Eat less saturated fat.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and bread.
  • Eat foods that have been prepared safely.

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