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While the present FBDGs operate on the assumption that dietary patterns operate as an integral to determine health patterns and mortality, the evidence that disease-specific dietary guidelines can be compatible with each other grows increasingly.
The first step in the development of FBDGs is for a jurisdiction or policy agency to recognize that the location and peoples for which it is responsible has nutritional problems--and there is almost nowhere that does not.
Generally, participatory approaches involve communities and embrace households, and are therefore the logical focus of FBDGs. With the advent of information technology and readily accessible telecommunication with mobile phones, hand held information devices, which can be wireless and solar powered, professional and community players in community nutrition can be more effective.
If FBDGs are seen as intrinsic to community development and recruit now-available technologies to connect communities, households and individuals, they have greater prospects.
A fundamental feature of the ability of China to play an early and foundation role in the development of the FBDGs in 1995 was that its nutrition scientists maintained a thread of basic community-oriented research during the most difficult times and rapidly re-asserted themselves once the opportunity arose.
As observed by Ge Keyou, FBDGs reflecting these changing trends have not penetrated the country as a whole or beyond a more informed constituency.
Changing Roles of FBDGs in Safety, Security, and Sustainability
There is no question that food safety, security and sustainability were in the minds of the architects of FBDGs, and the China case is a clear example of their importance.
Figure 1 draws attention to how a new generation of FBDGs will, if effective, have a focus on households and communities.
In addition to safety and security, sustainability is an increased issue with respect to changing FBDGs. We are now witnessing the greatest threat to planetary health and the sustainability of the human food supply since the beginnings of agriculture some 10,000 years ago (Diamond 1987; McMichael 1993).
Given the complexity of the issues outlined above, it does seem time to move to a more proactive stage in the FBDGs era.
Hence, FBDGs can be more effectively implemented (Figure 1).
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