Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Chile

Official name

Dietary guidelines for the Chilean population (Spanish: Guías alimentarias para la población chilena).

Publication year

Chile published its first food-based dietary guidelines, known as ‘Eating guidelines for the Chilean population’, in 1997. They were revised in 2005 and included in the ‘Eating for a healthier life’ guide. In 2013 they were revised again. An update process is expected to start in 2021.

Stakeholder involvement

The revision and update of the new dietary guidelines was led by the Ministry of Health with the participation of representatives from ministries of education and health, FAO and PAHO, Sistema Elige Vivir Sano, academia and professional associations. The FBDGs have been endorsed by the Ministry of Health (Norma Técnica N°148, aprobada por Resolución Exenta N°260 del 16/05/2013).

Products, resources and target audiences 


Target audience

Study to review and update the Chilean Dietary Guidelines 

Academia, ministries and health professionals

Study to design the graphic that illustrates the FBDGs for Chilean population

Academia, ministries and health professionals

Eating guide for children under 2 years of age and until adolescen

Health professionals

Development process

  1. Review of the literature. A study was designed for this purpose and included articles to update the epidemiological evidence, food  availability and food consumption in different groups of the Chilean population. A critical analysis of the literature regarding the preparation, implementation and evaluation of FBDGs, and of articles on energy balance and key nutrients to reduce (fats, sugars and sodium) was also carried out. Additionally, short updates were included on critical nutrients for vulnerable groups of the Chilean population (iron, zinc, calcium, folates, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and dietary fiber). A review of the international literature on the formulation of FBDGs was undertaken by a consultant (FAO-Rome).
  2. Design of the FBDGs. Based on the scientific evidence, the technical team prepared a first version of the technical guidelines, classifying them into 11 sub-topics. The resulting messages were analyzed in a workshop with a team of experts (academics, Ministry of Health, education sector, FAO and social communicators). A total of 22 messages (2 per topic) were developed.
  3. Validation of the guidelines. The field work was carried out in three regions of the country through a qualitative-quantitative study, using the “Metaplán” method, which consists of discussing a situation in small groups (8 to 10 people), visualizing the ideas of all the participants. The development of each work session had a moderator and an observer and was organized in three phases, based on the questions posed by the facilitator.
  4. Second Panel of Experts. With the content analysis of the focus groups, the messages were modified. The resulting messages were submitted for review and approval by a Panel of Experts, held at FAO in 2012, attended by representatives of the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Education, JUNAEB, FAO, PAHO / WHO, INTA, Universities and Professional Associations. The messages approved by the experts were then validated by two focus groups (with social communicators and with adults of both sexes). 


Currently there is no official implementation plan. The entity that is responsible for the implementation of the guidelines is the Ministry of Health.


Currently there is no official evaluation plan. 

Food guide

Chile's food guide was updated in 2015. The food guide is mainly composed by a circle which represents variety and proportionality of the food groups that should be consumed for a healthy diet, mainly foods with a high "nutritional value" that can be prepared in a healthy way. The foods included in the bottom strip represent energy dense and low nutritional value foods which should be avoided. The band surrounding the main circle represents the physical activity recommendation.  


The guidelines are aimed at the general public 2 years and older. 

  • To maintain a healthy weight, eat healthily and be physically active every day.
  • Spend less time at the computer or TV and walk fast, for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Eat foods with little salt and take the salt shaker away from the table.
  • If you want to maintain a healthy weight, avoid eating sugar, sweets, sugar-sweetened juices and beverages.
  • Take good care of your heart by avoiding fried foods, and fatty foods like cold and cured meats and mayonnaise.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruits of different colours five times a day.
  • To strengthen your bones, eat low-fat and low-sugar dairy products three times a day.
  • To keep your heart healthy, eat baked or grilled fish twice a week. Eat legumes at least twice a week, without mixing them with cold or cured meats.
  • To stay hydrated, drink 6–8 glasses of water a day. Read and compare food labels and choose products with less fat, sugar and salt (sodium).