MyPlate, Serving Up Dairy


6/13/2011 12:57 PM

Recently, first lady Michelle Obama helped launch MyPlate to replace MyPyramid, the USDA's version of the food pyramid since 2005. The goal was to simplify the message and encourage people to make sure meals are healthy. The design is simple – a plate divided for fruits, veggies, grains and meat, plus a glass of milk on the side.

And for someone who struggled with the last incarnation of MyPyramid, I find the simpler design is a welcome change. My hope is that it takes nutrition back to an effective, simpler message – eat things in moderation, minimize sweets and keep variety on the plate.

Earlier this year, a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that Americans may not be getting enough calcium, despite the fact that intake tends to increase as people age.

Using data collected from adults during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2003 to 2006, researchers from the University of Connecticut and Yale University found that while self-reported calcium density was highest in older age groups, it was still not sufficient to meet recommended levels.

Although there are other options available, dairy still provides the highest levels of calcium in a diet. 

So this month, farmers have something to crow about to their neighbors, the value of dairy to a healthy diet.

To learn more about MyPlate, visit:
-- Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade, Special Sections Editor

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