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Statement related to the revision of the 2017-2021 French Nutrition and Health Programme’s dietary guidelines for adults

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Date du document : 16/02/2017

Date de mise en ligne : 19/05/2018

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The Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique (HCSP – French High Council for Public Health) has updated the French Nutrition and Health Programme’s dietary guidelines for adults. The scope of a number of the food groups included in current recommendations has been redefined and new guidelines have been added (making a total of 12 instead of the present 8).

Recommandations are set on the basis of public health analysis of epidemiological relationships between the consumption of various foods and the risk of chronic disease and also take account of risks of exposure to environmental contaminants. Each guideline provides consumption frequency (or, failing that, desirable evolution of consumption) and is completed by information on portion sizes, the foods composing the groups or to promote within the group, and consumption limits, as well as on the risk of contaminants. For example, specific guidelines are set for legumes, nuts without added salt, and wholegrain and unrefined cereal products. Consumption limits are specified for red meat and processed meat. Emphasis is laid on the importance of prioritising foods grown using production methods minimising exposure to pesticides for fruit and vegetables, legumes and wholegrain cereal products, and of varying species and suppliers for fish.

In addition to the specific guidelines it has set, the HCSP has added more general advice, such as favouring use of unprocessed products, avoiding overlarge portions and snacking, and only following a slimming diet on the advice of a health professional. Special care was taken to ensure convergence between the nutritional and environmental aspects of foodstuffs during the drafting of these consumption guidelines.

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