By BRITTANY KILPATRICK
Over the years, childhood obesity has become a troubling issue that concerns parents, educators, and physicians. There is awareness of the issue, but now the focus is on trying to find a course of action, and a guideline for the public to be able to follow. Michelle Obama has begun to take action to combat the issue with the launch of a new reference chart known as MyPlate.
According to William Neuman of The New York Times, the previously followed food pyramid was disputed among professionals in the field of nutrition. By the establishment of MyPlate, Mrs. Obama feels that the chart serves as “… a quick simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods we are eating.”
Choosemyplate.com provides more information about healthy living, along with a breakdown of the food portions featured on the diagram, which includes fruits, proteins, vegetables, grains and dairy and provides a list of items in each food portion.
The list of fruits on the website includes the categories of “Commonly eaten fruits,” melons, berries, as well mixed fruits and “100% Fruit Juice” options. When you click on the options for protein, you have a list that is divided into sections: meat, eggs, poultry, seeds and nuts, seafood and soy products that are processed. Vegetables are divided into dark green, starchy, red and orange, peas and beans, and other. Grains are divided in two categories whole and refined. The dairy group is made of milk, cheese, yogurt, soy milk that is calcium fortified, and desserts that are milk based.
Weight management, calories, physical activity, and healthy eating tips are provided on the site in the section titled Weight Management & Calories. When you reach the step known as Next you locate Daily Food Plans and finally, click Daily Food Plan. You are told, based on your age, gender, weight, height and exercise level, what you may need to do to improve your health. It also provides you with measurements of portions and a number of calories you should intake and tips that will help you plan out and follow your meals. You can also track what you are eating and the exercising you are doing on the site as you follow the guidelines discussed.
The site also provides a list of popular topics. As of November 20th, 2013 there were videos added to the site. Information is broken up by “consumer” types including college students, kids, dieters, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. One tab entitled “What’s Cooking?” provides a “Tip of the Day” that can be printed to use on the go.
The establishment of MyPlate serves as guidance to having a healthier lifestyle. The chart is supplemented with additional material that makes the diagram even more useful. The goal in mind is to reduce childhood obesity, but the site is essentially a resource for anyone who is wishing to turn his or her health around.