Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Argentina

Official name

Dietary guidelines for the Argentinian population (Guías alimentarias para la población Argentina)

Year of publication

Argentina first launched its first FBDGs and food guide in 2000. They were revised in 2014 and the update was published in 2016. A revision is expected to begin in 2022.

Products, resources and target audiences


Target audience

Manual for the application of the Dietary Guidelines 

Health workers, educators, among others

Online course: Educating through the FBDGs

Health Professionals

Online course: Healthy, Safe and Sovereign Food: A Right

Primary School teachers

Content for social networks and websites

General Public

Brochures: cookbooks, food guide and messages, promotional materials 

General Public

Online course for nutritionists


Stakeholder involvement

The FBDGs updating process was coordinated by the National Ministry of Health, through the Directorate for Health Promotion and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, together and with the support of nutrition professionals associations, and a broad interdisciplinary panel of professionals. Main participating entities included Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Social development, directorates of health service quality and of maternity and infancy, academia, the national institute of food, other professional associations, research institutes, among others.

Development process

The aim of the FBDGs is to adapt the food-nutritional goals established for the population into practical messages that consider epidemiological, social, economic and cultural factors that encourage the improvement of the population's food habits and consumption profile.

For the work planning stage, a technical operational coordinator of the project was appointed and a National Multisectorial Committee was convened, which included institutions, organizations and societies from the public, private and academic sectors. The members of the Multisectorial Committee were divided into three working groups:

  1. Internal development committee: comprised of thematic specialists, potential users and specialists in research methodology for the preparation, collection and writing of the available information.
  2. Expanded internal committee: comprised of experts from different sectors and scientific societies related to food and nutrition who searched for specifically assigned information and participated in regular work meetings.
  3. External committee of experts or interdisciplinary consensus panel: comprised of all experts from the different sectors and disciplines, summoned to participate in different stages of the development and consensus process. 

The model proposed by the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) and PAHO was followed, applying a specific methodology for each stage of the development process. These included: 

  • Definition of the purpose, general and specific objectives of the FBDGs
  • Agreement on the target population through a systematic search of the international and local literature on the health and nutrition situation of the population, availability and access to food, consumption patterns and current food practices in Argentina.
  • Establishment of the recommendations, taking into account global ones, through an informal consensus from the internal development committee and the expanded internal committee.
  • Development of an Average Food Plan based on the anthropometric characteristics of the target population or reference unit represented by adult women (Height: 159.6 cm data extracted from the 2007 National Nutrition and Health Survey for young women 19-49 years of age, Weight: midpoint of the range for normal BMI according to WHO reference values).
  • Development of the technical guide which comprised the analysis of the problems arising from the diagnosis, the setting of critical nutrients and foods, and the elaboration of technical recommendations.
  • Prioritization of the technical recommendations and evaluation of their adequacy through formal consensus following the RAND / UCLA method (consensus methodology to then submit them to an applicability analysis through the Angelo method proposed by WHO).
  • Adaptation of the technical recommendations into consumer-facing messages and preparation of a proposal for the graphic (Daily Food Chart).
  • Selection, evaluation and assessment of feasibility of the messages and graphics, through focus groups and an on-line questionnaire.
  • Adaptation of the messages according to the evaluation results of three different working groups. 
  • Organization of a public consultation and finalization of messages and graphic.


The spirit of the FBDGs is framed in the implementation of comprehensive actions to confront and reverse the advance of non-communicable diseases, guaranteeing the full exercise of the right to a healthy diet for the entire Argentine population. Within the proposed dissemination and implementation strategy of the new FBDGs, the following actions were proposed:

  • Launch of the technical / methodological document
  • Development of the multipliers and trainers manual - for the application of FBDGs
  • Development of a communication strategy (including mass media) for the dissemination of messages and graphics.
  • Dissemination and development of content through social networks and the use of new technologies (medical records, smartphone applications, etc).
  • Development and dissemination of graphic materials (brochures, posters, triptychs)
  • Training activities for health teams at all care levels: dissemination workshops on the implementation of messages and graphics and self-paced online courses.
  • Advocacy for the integration of FBDGs in work tables and dialogues with different governmental, non-governmental and academic sectors.
  • Promotion of the the adoption of messages and graphics to the different regional realities.

It contemplates the perspective of food crossed by multiple determinants: demographic, ecological, political, economic, psychological and gender. All this implies considering that nutritional knowledge requires recovering the characteristics of the available foods and the food environment, skills and knowledge that exceed mere nutritional knowledge. In other words, this manual it is sustained from a comprehensive view of the food system.


Sociocultural and economic aspects were addressed in each message analyzed; a greater approach to the environmental issue is necessary, and that is why a new review is being scheduled in the coming years.

Food guide

Argentina’s food guide is represented by a circle, which includes six food groups: vegetables and fruits; legumes, cereals, potatoes, bread and pasta; milk, yogurt and cheese; meats and eggs; oils, dried fruit and seeds; and the optional group (sweets and fats). Water is included in the center of the circle. There are two additional messages on the outside of the circle about more physical activity and less salt consumption. 


  • Incorporate foods from all groups and at least 30 min of physical activity daily.
  • Drink 8 glasses of safe water every day.
  • Consume 5 portions of fruits and vegetables, varied in color and type, every day.
  • Reduce the use of salt and the consumption of foods with high sodium content.
  • Limit the consumption of sugary drinks and foods high in fats, sugar and salt.
  • Consume milk, yogurt or cheese, preferably low-fat, every day. 
  • When consuming meat, remove the visible fat. Increase the consumption of fish and include eggs.
  • Eat legumes; cereals, preferably wholemeal; potato; sweet potato; corn or cassava.
  • Consume raw oil as a condiment, dried fruits or seeds.
  • The consumption of alcoholic drinks must be responsible. Children, adolescents and pregnant women should not drink alcohol. Avoid them when driving.