Dietary intake attracts increasing interest in the risk for and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In particular, dietary fibre and fatty acids have drawn specific attention for their immunomodulating potential. The study aimed to review the current evidence on the potential roles of dietary fibre or fatty acid intake in the risk and progression of COPD. Pubmed, EMBASE, Cochrane Collaboration Database and conference databases for original studies in adults addressing the association between fibre or fatty acid intake and COPD in terms of risk, lung function and respiratory symptoms were searched. Nine articles were included of which four reported on dietary fibre and five on fatty acids. Data of studies could not be pooled because of methodological diversity. Greater intake of dietary fibre has been consistently associated with reduced COPD risk, better lung function and reduced respiratory symptoms. Results on the associations between fatty acids and COPD are inconsistent. Dietary quality deserves further attention in developing COPD prevention and management programs.