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 published in 1989 and revised in 1997 and 2007. They are currently under revision and are expected to be released in 2015.

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.

Intended audience

The guidelines are directed at the general population and include recommendations for specific population groups that have special needs: infants, pre-school children, schoolchildren and adolescents, pregnant women, lactating women and the elderly.

Food guide

China uses the ‘Food Guide Pagoda’, which is divided into five levels of recommended consumption corresponding to the five Chinese food groups. Cereals (in the form of rice, corn, bread, noodles and crackers) and tubers make up the base of the pagoda and, together with vegetables and fruits (on the second level), should make up the majority of any meal. Meat, poultry, fish and shrimps, and eggs (on the third level) should be eaten regularly in small quantities. A recommendation to eat milk, dairy products, beans and bean products is included in the fourth level. Fat, oil and salt, placed on the roof of the pagoda, should be eaten in moderation. Recommendations to drink plenty of water and to do physical activity are also included in the food guide.


  • Eat a variety of foods, mainly cereals, including appropriate amounts of whole grains.
  • Consume plenty of vegetables, fruits and tubers.
  • Consume milk, beans, or dairy or soybean products every day.
  • Consume appropriate amounts of fish, poultry, eggs and lean meat.
  • Reduce the amount of cooking oil; choose a light diet which is also low in salt.
  • Do not overeat, exercise every day, and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Logically divide the daily food intake among the three meals, and choose suitable snacks.
  • Drink a sufficient amount of water every day, and select suitable beverages.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in limited amounts.
  • Consume fresh and hygienic food.