US: everything to overcome national obesity

The old food pyramid was turned on its side and outfitted with stairs on Tuesday, as the federal government unveiled its latest effort to offer instant nutrition advice to Americans.

The new program, MyPyramid, was hailed by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns as a customized, interactive food guidance system. Critics, though, said it was likely to be as ineffective as the old pyramid.

The Agriculture Department says that 80 percent of Americans recognized the 1992 pyramid. But Mr. Johanns acknowledged that few followed its recommendations.

Eric M. Bost, the Agriculture Department's under secretary for food, nutrition and &to=http:// ' target=_blank>consumer services, said that 65 percent of adults ages 20 to 74 are overweight, with nearly half of that group obese, informs the New York Times.

According to the Olympain, Johanns' personal dietary plan, he said, includes 2,800 calories per day with targets of 10 ounces of grain, 31/2 cups of vegetables, 21/2 cups of fruit, 3 cups of milk and 7 ounces of meat and beans.

Jackie Newgent is a nutrition consultant and culinary instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. "I really do think that the changes will help Americans follow the dietary guidelines, and the reason behind that is that, in the past, we had one pyramid and it had a range of servings and it really did take someone like myself, who is a registered dietitian, to operationalize that for everyone," Newgent said. "Now, what we have are different pyramids so everyone can find what is exactly right for them rather than not knowing which range they should be eating from. This is more decisive information."

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Author`s name Editorial Team