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The development of a National Food Guide for the United Kingdom is a priority in the action plans of the Nutrition Task Force. Pictorial food guides to translate nutrient recommendations into guidance for food choice have been in use in other parts of the world for many years. However, there has not, until the present time, been a nationally recognized guide in the United Kingdom. Such a tool would enable those involved in nutrition education programmes to address the public with consistent messages through a variety of different channels, thus reducing the potential for misinformation and misunderstanding. This paper describes a brief history of food guides, gives the background to the development of a guide in the United Kingdom and outlines the research and development process including consultation with a wide range of organizations. The development of dietetic and nutritional characteristics of the Guide format preferences and performance study results are described in accompanying papers in this issue on pages 323–334 and 335–351. Copyright © 1995, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics

Publication Date





315 - 322