for Better Nutrition
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Ministry of Planning Development and Reform, Government of Pakistan
The Pakistan Dietary Guidelines for Better Nutrition (PDGN) are comprehensive country specific guidelines
for the general public to adopt healthy eating practices, and prevent and reduce the risk of infectious and
chronic diseases. These guidelines are simple to adopt, provide age and gender appropriate and culturally
acceptable options to choose nutritious foods.
The PDGN provide a thorough review of the food security, health and nutrition situation of the population
and is cognizant of the fact that about half of the population is deficient in one or more of essential
nutrients, reflecting unhealthy dietary practices compounded by poor hygiene and sanitation. Women and
young children are more vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies, morbidity and mortality due to their
compromised health and nutritional status. The PDGN highlight the predominant consumption of energy
dense foods and monotonous diets by majority of the population.
The emphasis of the PDGN is on the consumption of a variety of safe and nutritious foods including milk and
milk products, meat and pulses, wholegrain cereals, vegetables and fruits and decreasing consumption of
energy dense foods such as deep fried foods, bakery products, processed foods and reducing the amount of
fat specifically saturated fat, oil, sugar and salt in cooking, as there is a strong relationship between diet and
disease, specially non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and others that are
associated with poor dietary habits. Moreover, physical activity is critical for all population groups to remain
physically fit and healthy.
The PDGN are a rich resource for general public, decision and policy makers, planners, researchers,
academicians, food and pharmaceutical industries, hospitals, agriculture extension and allied health
professionals for integration into their own plan of actions and interventions. These guidelines will benefit
communities, clients and consumers in making healthy food choices and well suited to break the vicious
cycle of malnutrition when integrated into nutrition sensitive and the social development programmes of
I appreciate the efforts of the contributors and hope that the use of these guidelines, would serve as an
effective tool for improving nutrition and well being of the population.
28 May, 2018 Planning Commission of Pakistan
Pakistan Dietary Guidelines for Better Nutrition
The Ministry of Planning Development and Reform, gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement for
developing the Pakistan Dietary Guidelines for Better Nutrition (PDGN). Mr. Francisco Gamarro (Late),
Ex-Deputy Representative FAO, and Mr. Nasar Hayat, Assistant Representative FAO, deserve appreciation
for their continuous support in accomplishing the task of developing PDGN.
The efforts of Dr. Parvez Iqbal Paracha, Nutrition Specialist in preparing the document and great
contributions of Dr. Nomeena Anis, Nutritionist and Gender Focal Person, FAO, Islamabad in developing a
comprehensive document are highly appreciated. The dedicated efforts, overall coordination and
commitment of the Nutrition Section/ SUN Secretariat are commendable. Special thanks to Dr. M. Azeem
Khan, Member Food Security and Climate Change, Planning Commission for his overall guidance in finalizing
of this document. The Nutrition Section appreciates the valuable contribution of Dr. Mubrik Ali, Ex-Member
Food Security and Climate Change, Planning Commission Pakistan.
The Ministry of Planning Development and Reform is highly indebted to distinguished and renowned
academicians, researchers, programme managers, policy makers, development partners and other
stakeholders for their valuable inputs in formulation of PDGN, which will serve as a source of guidance for
planning and implementation of nutrition related programmes aimed at promoting healthy diets and
preventing malnutrition and diseases.
M. Aslam Shaheen
Chief Nutrition/SUN Focal Person
Ministry of Planning Development & Reform Pakistan