USDA marks MyPlate anniversary

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — One year after its unveiling, the MyPlate food icon and other materials have been downloaded more than 7 million times, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

“A year ago First Lady Michelle Obama and I joined together to launch MyPlate and to encourage people to think about their food choices in order to lead healthier lifestyles,” said Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of the USDA. “Today we celebrate the great strides we are making from our local schools to the dinner table as Americans embrace MyPlate and find practical ways to apply it to their daily lives.”

The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) estimates that about 90 percent of nutrition professionals are familiar with MyPlate and are using the resources and messages that support MyPlate in client counseling. In the first quarter of 2012, the USDA said there were 34 million page views at the website and more than 700,000 registered users of the MyPlate SuperTracker, the web-based tool to gauge one’s diet and physical activity.

During the month of June, the CNPP said it will celebrate the first anniversary of MyPlate with special blog postings on its website, daily Tweets on healthy eating, recipes, partner images, a resource for having healthy celebrations, and MyPlate Happy Birthday coloring pages for children, among other user-friendly resources. In addition, the quarterly MyPlate message for May through June will be “Drink Water Instead of Sugary Drinks.”

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