How the G20 leaders could transform nutrition by updating and harmonizing food-based dietary guidelines


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UN Food and Agriculture Organization


The G20 is an intergovernmental and multilateral platform comprised of 19 countries and the European Union, which connects prosperous high-income and emerging middle-income countries worldwide. The G20 process could prioritize food systems to address climate change challenges. For this paper, the research team reviewed the G20 countries’ recommendations in national food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) for red and processed meat (RPM) compared with available per capita consumption data and expert-recommended targets to promote healthy and sustainable food systems. The results reveal that Indonesia, India and Saudi Arabia have the least red meat available for consumption (less than 10 kilograms (kg) per person per year). Other G20 countries exceed the recommended red meat target of less than or equal to 26 kg per person per year. Sixteen G20 countries have translated their national guidelines into FBDG food graphics for the public. Twelve G20 countries recommend that people limit their RPM daily or weekly to reduce cancer and heart disease risks. Australia, France, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland align RPM targets with recommendations to limit cooked red meat intake to three or fewer servings (350-500 grams) a week. Six G20 countries (Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Italy and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) recommend minimally processed, plant-rich food choices or environmentally sustainable dietary patterns. The G20 meetings in Indonesia (2022), India (2023) and Brazil (2024) should prioritize and harmonize healthy and sustainable food system policies with international trade policies to mitigate climate change effects and manage sustainability trade-offs.



Nutrition guidelines