A Broader Perspective:

Dietary Guidelines around the World


Americans have historically used a pyramid to illustrate what a healthy and balanced diet looks like.  In recent months, the pyramid was replaced by a plate for simplification.  Largely, the recommended balance has remained consistent.

American Food Plate:

Other countries' dietary recommendations differ, as one might expect.  What is more interesting is to look at the models of the official food guides, how they vary -- what is selected and how those physical representations are, in many ways, so reflective of their cultures.

For example, Germany currently uses a pyramid to illustrate the food groups.  However, true to German cultural tendencies, the pyramid is extremely detailed and even three dimensional to illustrate ratings of food types by nutritional quality and account for how much of each food type should be consumed in comparison to others.

 German Food Pyramid:

The Greek pyramid has one level dedicated solely to olive oil. It also shows a glass of wine just to one side of the triangle, opposite an illustration depicting exercise.

Greek Food Pyramid: 

The Chinese use a pagoda for their food guide model. Interestingly, that recommendation calls for five times as much vegetable as meat. Additionally, milk/dairy products are placed in the same compartment as beans/bean products and tofu.

Chinese Food Pagoda: 



These images were found at www.good.is/post/pyramids-plates-and-pagodas-dietary-guidelines-from-around-the-world, where additional food guide models can be found.