Perspective: Improving Nutritional Guidelines for Sustainable Health Policies: Current Status and Perspectives

Adv Nutr. 2017 Jul 14;8(4):532-545. doi: 10.3945/an.116.014738. Print 2017 Jul.


A large body of evidence supports the notion that incorrect or insufficient nutrition contributes to disease development. A pivotal goal is thus to understand what exactly is appropriate and what is inappropriate in food ingestion and the consequent nutritional status and health. The effective application of these concepts requires the translation of scientific information into practical approaches that have a tangible and measurable impact at both individual and population levels. The agenda for the future is expected to support available methodology in nutrition research to personalize guideline recommendations, properly grading the quality of the available evidence, promoting adherence to the well-established evidence hierarchy in nutrition, and enhancing strategies for appropriate vetting and transparent reporting that will solidify the recommendations for health promotion. The final goal is to build a constructive coalition among scientists, policy makers, and communication professionals for sustainable health and nutritional policies. Currently, a strong rationale and available data support a personalized dietary approach according to personal variables, including sex and age, circulating metabolic biomarkers, food quality and intake frequency, lifestyle variables such as physical activity, and environmental variables including one's microbiome profile. There is a strong and urgent need to develop a successful commitment among all the stakeholders to define novel and sustainable approaches toward the management of the health value of nutrition at individual and population levels. Moving forward requires adherence to well-established principles of evidence evaluation as well as identification of effective tools to obtain better quality evidence. Much remains to be done in the near future.

Keywords: food; genetics; microbiome; nutritional status; personalized nutrition.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet, Healthy / standards*
  • Health Promotion / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Promotion / standards*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Nutrition Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Nutritional Status