Current Guidelines

These documents are an important tool for health practitioners and others who provide advice on nutrition and physical activity.


Each guideline has an accompanying health education resource for the general public.

December 2020 update

The Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults were updated in December 2020 to include advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The Eating and Activity Guidelines Statements for adults remain the same and were not reviewed. Where possible data has been updated. 


The updated advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women replaces the previous Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A background paper published in 2006 and partially revised in 2008. This advice, along with recommendations on physical activity for pregnant women, have been integrated into the adult guidelines.  


It is also significant to note a change in the tools used to describe what a healthy eating pattern looks likes. New Zealand has updated its serving size advice by adopting the evidence based Australian serve size advice and a new food model has been developed. 


Eating and Activity Guidelines for Adult New Zealanders contain recommendations which apply in most cases to the whole population. The recommended eating pattern is the same for almost all groups, with some variation based on the amount of food and nutrients needed at different life stages. 


Advice for pregnant women focuses on the importance of a nutrient-rich diet and healthy weight gain during pregnancy, increased need related to folate/folic acid and iodine, and the importance of food safety given the lowered immunity during pregnancy. Advice for breastfeeding women also focuses on the need for a nutrient rich healthy diet, and the importance of an environment that supports women to breastfeed.

This resource summarises the key information from the Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults. It covers what the guidelines recommend, why and gives suggestions on how to put the recommendations into practice.

Topical Questions and Answers

This resource provides answers on some topical issues around eating (nutrition) and physical activity. The responses are based on the Ministry of Health’s monitoring of international research. Any new research is considered alongside the existing body of evidence and best international population health advice.

What’s changed?

In December 2020, the Ministry of Health published updated Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults. The following resources describe the key changes from the old to the new edition of the Guidelines. 

Issue-based documents on eating and activity

These documents provide in-depth information on eating and activity issues, beyond what is covered in the Guidelines document.