Food-based dietary guidelines in the WHO European Region



An unhealthy diet combined with physical inactivity increase the risk for non-communicable diseases (NCD) enormously. There is a clear need for political commitment to nutrition policies which will help prevent NCD through provision of enough healthy, affordable food, especially fresh fruit and vegetables. Part of this political action should include the translation of nutrient population goals into food-based dietary guidelines at the national level. It is fundamental that the Ministry of Health endorses food-based dietary guidelines that are consistent and easily understood. The aim of this survey was to assess the existence of national, governmentendorsed food-based dietary guidelines in Member States of the WHO European Region. The findings of this survey illustrate important discrepancies between sub-regions and from country to country in national foodbased dietary guidelines. Further effort will be required in the development of dietary guidelines as well as in the implementation of national nutrition policies.