WHO | Diet

WHO | Diet

Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are major risk factors for chronic diseases.

Reports of international and national experts and reviews of the current scientific evidence recommend goals for nutrient intake in order to prevent chronic diseases.

For diet, recommendations for populations and individuals should include the following:

  • achieve energy balance and a healthy weight
  • limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids
  • increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, and legumes, whole grains and nuts
  • limit the intake of free sugars
  • limit salt (sodium) consumption from all sources and ensure that salt is iodized

These recommendations need to be considered when preparing national policies and dietary guidelines, taking into account the local situation.

Improving dietary habits is a societal, not just an individual problem. Therefore it demands a population-based, multisectoral, multi-disciplinary, and culturally relevant approach.

More information on diet:

  • Fiscal policies for diet and the prevention of noncommunicable diseases
    To address the increasing number of requests from Member States for guidance on how to design fiscal policies on diet, WHO convened a technical meeting of global experts in fiscal policies on 5–6 May 2015 in Geneva. The main objectives of the meeting were to review evidence and existing guidance, discuss country case studies and provide considerations with regards to the scope, design and implementation of effective fiscal policies on diet.
  • Monitoring and evaluating DPAS’s implementation
    This framework sets an approach to measure the implementation of DPAS, in coordination with ongoing monitoring and surveillance initiatives, and to assist Member States to identify specific indicators to measure the implementation of DPAS at country level.
  • The 3 Fives campaign for the Olympic Games
    The 3 Fives: Five Keys to Safer Food, Five Keys to a Healthy Diet, Five Keys to Appropriate Physical Activity, primarily provides simple messages on what to consume to stay healthy, how to prepare food safely and how to keep moving to stay in good shape.

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