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Food-based dietary guidelines and implementation: lessons from four countries – Chile, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa

  • Ingrid Keller (a1) and Tim Lang (a1)

Abstract

Objective

Food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) are globally promoted as an important part of national food and nutrition policies. They are presented within policy as key features of the strategy to educate the public and guide policy-makers and other stakeholders about a healthy diet. This paper examines the implementation of FBDGs in four countries: Chile, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa – diverse countries chosen to explore the realities of the FBDG within policy on public health nutrition.

Design

A literature review was carried out, followed by interviews with representatives from the governmental, academic and private sector in all four countries.

Results

In all four countries the FBDG is mainly implemented via written/electronic information provided to the public through the health and/or education sector. Data about the impact of FBDGs on policy and consumers’ food choice or dietary habits are incomplete; nutrition surveys do not enable assessment of how effective FBDGs are as a factor in dietary or behavioural change. Despite limitations, FBDGs are seen as being valuable by key stakeholders.

Conclusion

FBDGs are being implemented and there is experience which should be built upon. The policy focus needs to move beyond merely disseminating FBDGs. They should be part of a wider public health nutrition strategy involving multiple sectors and policy levels. Improvements in the implementation of FBDGs are crucial given the present epidemic of chronic, non-communicable diseases.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email ingrid.keller@ec.europa.eu

References

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Keywords

Food-based dietary guidelines and implementation: lessons from four countries – Chile, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa

  • Ingrid Keller (a1) and Tim Lang (a1)

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