Until the 1970s, the Korean economy was dominantly agriculture, but nowadays, less than 10 % of the population lives in a rural area, and it is expected that within a generation the proportion of the population engaged in agriculture will be less than 5 %. The living standard is rising as the national economy benefits from the increased sale of industrial products. The dietary patterns are being changed. The diet has changed from one based predominantly on starch based food such as cereals or roots and vegetables to one in which animal products take great prominence with consequent increases in animal fat and protein. The move from simple unrefined foods to more refined and complex manufactured foods has become commonplace. As a result, the general nutritional situation has been improved. Such improvement, however, has brought about an increase in overnutrition in more affluent sections of the population, whereas dietary inadequacy among the lower socio-economic groups and vulnerable classes still persists. Overall, Korea suffers from both undernutrition and overnutrition. The national school feeding program started in 1953 after the Korean War with the support of UNICEF, CARE, and USAID as a relief food program and is now expanding successfully to a self-supporting nationwide scale. The applied nutrition project in rural areas introduced in 1967 with the support of UNICEF, FAO, WHO, and the Korean government continues successfully to the present day. A national dietary survey has been carried out once a year since 1969, and once every 3 years from 1998. Korean recommended dietary allowances were established in 1962 and have been revised every 5 years. The government intends to establish national dietary guidelines for health promotion and prevention of chronic degenerative diseases. Nutrition education and research are also very important national undertakings.