Historical Dietary Guidance

A Brief History of USDA Food Guides (PDF | 768 KB)

USDA. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

See the evolution of food guides from 1916 to present day.


Early Food Guides (1894-1940)

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Collection of early food guides images.


Early World War II Guides (1941-1942)

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Collection of food guides images from the early 1940's.


Basic 7 Food Guide (1943-1955)

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Collection of "Basic 7" food guides images.


Basic 4 Food Guide (1956-1979)

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Collection of "Basic 4" food guides images.


Hassle-Free Food Guide (1979-1984)

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Image of the "The Hassle-Free Guide" (color).


Pattern for Daily Food Choices (1984 - Present)

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Collection of food guides images, including the Food Guide Pyramid, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and American Red Cross Food Wheel.


Development of USDA's Food Guide (1980's)

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Follows the development of the 1980 Food Guide Pyramid.


Historical Background

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Follows the historical developments behind the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.