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Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Sierra Leone

Official name

Sierra Leone Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating

Publication year

Sierra Leone developed and published their dietary guidelines in 2016.

Process and stakeholders

An independent consultant provided technical direction in the drafting of the FBDGs, under the overall supervision of the FAO Chief Technical Adviser and FAO Representative in Sierra Leone, and the technical guidance of the Nutrition Unit of FAO’s Nutrition and Food Systems Division in Rome. The consultant worked in collaboration with a task force including representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and Health and Sanitation, as well as other key stakeholders in the country.

The process involved data collection, analysis, interpretation and compilation, including desk reviews to understand the health and nutrition situation in the country. This was followed by a multistakeholder workshop for content identification, consumer research to test understanding of the proposed dietary guidelines, and a series of meetings with the Ministries of Agriculture and Health to discuss graphic materials that would be used for the FBDGs and Food Guide, proposed messages and implementation plan for food, nutrition and health education. The draft guidelines were validated and reviewed by representatives from the task force, WHO, SUN initiative and FAO.

Intended audience

Sierra Leone's dietary guidelines have been developed for the healthy general public. Additional information is provided as a supplement to the guidelines for targeted population groups, such as pregnant and lactating mothers, infants and young children, school-aged children and adolescents.

Food guide

The Sierra Leonean Food Guide comprises six food groups. These foods are not arranged according to portion sizes, but are classified according to their availability and accessibility. They represent what should be eaten from each food group at least once a day. The Food Guide for Healthy Eating does not represent a typical Sierra Leonean plate but rather, foods available in the country.

Messages

  • Eat variety of foods.
  • Eat either fish, poultry, meat , milk or eggs everyday.
  • Eat rice, cassava or other whole grains such as roots or tubers as part of meals.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables especially green leaves at every meal.
  • Eat beans, peas and lentils everyday.
  • Use oil in moderation and eat nuts and seeds.
  • Use iodized salt but use it in moderation.
  • Use sugars, foods and drinks made with sugar in moderation (added sugars).
  • Take 8-10 glasses of water daily.
  • Be physically active.

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