In their efforts to improve nutrition, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization periodically convene expert consultations to provide advice to developing and developed countries. A primary objective of these consultations is the review of the state of knowledge on the role of various nutrients in the human diet, and the formulation of practical recommendations. The latest in a series of expert reports on nutrients, Carbohydrates in human nutrition gives the report and recommendations of a joint expert consultation on this subject which was held in Rome from April 14 to 18, 1997. Key factors that may influence consumption, health, food production and processing, food marketing and labelling are discussed. The report makes recommendations about terminology and a classification scheme for dietary carbohydrates; an energy value for dietary fibre; the minimum dietary energy intake from carbohydrates; the consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods with emphasis on traditional foods; the use of the glycemic index. An extensive bibliography is included.