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Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Qatar

Official name

Qatar Dietary Guidelines (in Arabic:الدلائل الإرشادية للتغذية لدولة قطر).

Publication year

Qatar published its dietary guidelines in 2015.

Stakeholders and process

The guidelines were developed by the National Dietary Guidelines Task Force—composed of public health and nutrition representatives from a wide range of institutions across the country including Qatar National Food Security Program, the academia, medical associations and research centers—under the direction of the Supreme Council of Health.

Each one of the guidelines was developed following an evidence-based process, drawing extensively upon key international reports and reviews. Expert committee meetings were held to define food groups, number of servings and serving sizes. Focus groups were conducted to test public understanding of the messages the guidelines were trying to convey.

The guidelines adopt an environmentally friendly approach by emphasizing plant-based and minimally processed and packaged foods (vegetables, fruit, whole grain cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds), and by proposing the consumption of locally produced foods and the reduction of food waste.

They also recommend eating meat, fish and poultry in small amounts, and include physical activity recommendations and food safety tips. 

Intented audience

The guidelines are intended at the healthy population 2 to 65 years of age.

Food guide

The Qatar food guide is a shell-shaped plate that consists of six food groups: cereals and starchy vegetables; vegetables; milk, dairy products and alternatives; fruits; legumes; fish, poultry, meat, eggs and alternatives; the volume of which represents the contribution to a healthy diet. It is recommended to eat a variety of healthy choices from the six food groups on a daily basis. Foods high in sugar, salt and fat such as sugar-sweetened beverages and highly-processed products, are not depicted in the food guide.  

Messages 

  • Eat healthy choices from the 6 food groups.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit sugar, salt and fat.
  • Be physically active.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Adopt safe and clean food preparation methods.
  • Eat healthy while protecting the environment.
  • Take care of your family:
    • Breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months of their life, and continue until your child is two years old.
    • Build and model healthy patterns for your family.

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