Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - China

Official name

Dietary guidelines for Chinese residents (Chinese: 中国居民膳食指南).

Publication year

The Chinese dietary guidelines were first published in 1989 and revised in 1997, 2007 and 2015. The current version was released in 2016.

Process and stakeholders

The guidelines have been prepared and revised by the Chinese Nutrition Society in collaboration with various stakeholders. The 2007 version was developed by a Commission comprised of experts from the Chinese Nutrition Society and proclaimed by the Ministry of Health. The 2016 version is a revision of the 2007 guidelines. 

Intended audience

The guidelines are directed at the general population (healthy people over 2 years of age) and include recommendations for specific population groups.

Food guide

China uses the ‘Food Guide Pagoda’, which embodies the core recommendations of the guidelines. It includes 5 levels, representing the recommended proportion of the different food groups in the diet. Recommendations to drink plenty of water and to do physical activity are also included in the food guide.

In addition, two auxiliary graphics have been developed for better understanding and practical use: the 'Balanced diet abacus' and the 'Balanced meal plate'. 


  • Eat a variety of foods, with cereals as the staple.
  • Balance eating and exercise to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Consume plenty of vegetables, milk, and soybeans.
  • Consume an appropriate amount of fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat.
  • Reduce salt and oil, and limit sugar and alcohol.
  • Eliminate waste and develop a new ethos of diet civilization.