Icon released to help Americans eat healthier
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 8:02 pm
First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices.
MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.
“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country,” said Mrs. Obama. “When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, they’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too. But they can take time to take a look at their kids’ plates. As long as they’re half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we’re golden. That’s how easy it is.”
“With so many food options available to consumers, it is often difficult to determine the best foods to put on our plates when building a healthy meal,” said Vilsack. “MyPlate is an uncomplicated symbol to help remind people to think about their food choices in order to lead healthier lifestyles. This effort is about more than just giving information; it is a matter of making people understand there are options and practical ways to apply them to their daily lives.”
MyPlate will replace the MyPyramid image as the government’s primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. However, MyPyramid will remain available to interested health professionals and nutrition educators in a special section of the new website.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans form the basis of the federal government’s nutrition education programs, federal nutrition assistance programs and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals.
The guidelines messages include:
• Enjoy your food, but eat less.
• Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to increase
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.
• Make at least half your grains whole grains.
Foods to reduce
• Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Published in The Messenger 11.30.11