MyPlate Replaces MyPyramid

Fitness professionals: Do your clients find it challenging to understand what type of foods to eat in what amounts? You may want to refer them to a new food icon called MyPlate. Last month the USDA unveiled this icon to encourage people to put together healthy meals and to seek more information at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.

MyPlate will replace the familiar MyPyramid image as the government’s primary food group symbol. Many nutritionists considered MyPyramid confusing. MyPlate is designed to be an easy-to-understand visual cue to help people adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

"[MyPlate] is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we're eating. [As a mom], I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we're already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it's tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our 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."

As a fitness professional, you know that healthy eating forms an important part of your clients' efforts to lose weight or maintain sufficient energy to enjoy active lives. “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 Agriculture Secretary Tom 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 helping people understand there are options and practical ways to apply them to their daily lives."

ChooseMyPlate.gov offers in-depth information on the diet advice that the new plate chart was based on. It also gives recommended portions of the food groups for men, women and children. Plus, the website provides tools to help your clients create different meal plans.

Looking for More Resources to Share With Your Clients?
ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets. The site offers resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. The MyPlate icon is also available to view and download in PDF and JPG formats.

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April Durrett

IDEA Author/Presenter
April Durrett is a contributing editor for IDEA Fitness Journal.
July 2011

© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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