The process followed in the development of the paediatric food-based dietary guidelines for South Africa

Lesley T. Bourne, Debbi Marais, Penny Love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In 1996, a Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization expert panel proposed the development of food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) that would be unique and specific to the needs of the populations of different countries. In 1997, a South African FBDG Working Group was initiated to develop a single set of FBDGs aimed at optimal nutrition for all South Africans older than 5 years. Thereafter, additional working groups investigated the development of FBDGs for specific priority groups including HIV/AIDS sufferers, the elderly, pregnant and lactating women and children under 5 years. This resulted in the formation of an expert paediatric FBDG Working Group in 2000, in Cape Town with the task to develop paediatric FBDGs (PFBDGs) for children younger than 5 years. However, it was decided to raise the 5-year-age limit to 7 years, which corresponds to one of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) cut-offs for both genders and that would cover most pre-schoolers. Ultimately, three age subcategories were identified for developing specific PFBDGs, i.e. 0-6 months, 6-12 months and 12-84 months. In May 2003, after thorough review of the relevant literature, discussions with various stakeholders and pre-testing for comprehensibility, a set of preliminary PFBDGs for each of the subcategories was approved by the Working Group to be subjected to consumer testing. The proposed guidelines were considered to be the most appropriate ones for each age group, based on scientific and local evidence, and were evaluated utilizing qualitative methodologies. The results of these data are presented and discussed below. However, further testing is required for the diverse groups in the country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-250
Number of pages12
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number4
Early online date4 Sept 2007
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • child
  • child nutrition disorders
  • child nutritional physiological phenomena
  • child, preschool
  • female
  • guidelines as topic
  • humans
  • infant
  • infant, newborn
  • male
  • needs assessment
  • nutrition assessment
  • nutrition policy
  • nutritional requirements
  • South Africa


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