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MyPyramid USDA’s New Food Guidance System

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1 MyPyramid USDA’s New Food Guidance System
This presentation is an introduction to MyPyramid, the new USDA Food Guidance System developed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. NOTE TO PRESENTERS: This is a detailed presentation, but has been organized into sections. As an alternative to presenting the entire slide show at one time, you may select only the sections of interest to your audience to present, or present sections separately over two or more sessions. The sections are: Slides 1-12: Introduction and background Slides 13-28: Development of the MyPyramid Food Intake Patterns Slides 29-42: Development of MyPyramid consumer messages and materials Slides 43-61: Using MyPyramid materials United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy & Promotion

2 History of USDA’s Food Guidance
Food for Young Children 1992 1916 1940s 1970s USDA has had a long history with food guidance dating back into the early 20th century. Looking back over this history, many different food guides have been used. They represented health and nutrition concerns of the time when they were introduced. For example, In the 1940’s the wartime food guide promoted eating foods that provided the vitamins and minerals needed to prevent deficiencies. In the 1950’s-1960’s the 7 food groups were simplified into a “Food for Fitness” guide, which was commonly called “The Basic Four.” By the later 1970’s, concerns about dietary excess lead USDA to issue “The Hassle-Free Daily Food Guide,” which included a “caution” group of fats, sweets, and alcohol. All of these food guides preceded the introduction of the original Food Guide Pyramid in 1992. NOTE TO PRESENTER: The food guides pictured above are-- 1916: Food for Young Children 1940s (1946): National Food Guide (commonly called “The Basic Seven”) 1950s-1960s (1956): Food for Fitness—A Daily Food Guide (commonly called “The Basic Four”) 1970s (1979): Hassle-Free Guide to a Better Diet 1992: Food Guide Pyramid 2005: MyPyramid 2005 1950s-1960s

3 --1992-- Food Guide Pyramid
The original Food Guide Pyramid became so widely recognized that many believed it had been the foundation of USDA’s guidance for 40 years, or more. In fact, though, it was only 13 years old when it was updated and transformed into MyPyramid. (CLICK FOR TRANSITION EFFECT TO NEXT SLIDE)

4 MyPyramid MyPyramid was released in April MyPyramid retains all the food groups from the original Pyramid, but it also includes a graphic representation of physical activity—an important additional recommendation for a healthy way of life.

5 Reasons for Revising— Updating the Science
To ensure that the guidance reflects the latest nutrition science New nutrient standards—DRI New Dietary Guidelines Food consumption and composition data One reason the food guidance system was revised was to ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food guidance system reflected the latest nutritional science. Since the release of the original Pyramid in 1992, new standards for nutrient intakes, the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), were established by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine; the 2005 Dietary Guidelines were released; and new data became available on food consumption and food composition data. The revision to the food guidance system has paralleled and was coordinated with the development of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released in January 2005.

6 Reasons for Revising— Improving Implementation
To improve the Pyramid’s effectiveness with consumers Motivational tools—new graphic and slogan Educational tools—education framework, consumer messages, website, and interactive tools The second reason to revise the food guidance system was to help consumers more effectively put the guidance into action. The new food guidance system is made up of motivational and educational tools. The motivational tools are the new graphic and the slogan. The educational tools include the education framework, consumer messages, print materials, a website with detailed nutrition information, as well as interactive tools to help consumers personalize their diets.

7 Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)
National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine Recommended intake levels for vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients Current recommendations issued from The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) were issued by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. The DRIs include recommendations for 50 nutrients, which include 14 vitamins, 18 minerals, and 18 macronutrients and food components. Thus far the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, has issued a total of eight reports with 6 containing information on recommendations and 2 on information for assessment and planning on dietary intakes. NOTE TO PRESENTER: The following are the titles of the eight reports— 1. DRIs for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride (1997) 2. DRIs for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline (1998) 3. DRIs for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids (2000) 4. DRIs Applications in Dietary Planning (2000) 5. DRIs for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc (2001) 6. Prepublication copy of DRIs for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2002) 7. DRIs Applications in Dietary Planning (2003) 8. Prepublication copy of DRIs for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (2004)

8 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005
Dietary recommendations for health promotion and chronic disease prevention Based on Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report, public comments For policymakers, health professionals The Dietary Guidelines are issued every 5 years. The latest edition was issued in January The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based advice on dietary recommendations to prevent disease through a healthy diet and physical activity. In 2003, USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) convened a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, composed of experts in the fields of nutrition and health, to review the latest scientific and medical research. The Committee then completed a scientific report, which is the primary resource used by USDA and HHS to develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, a policy document for policymakers and health professionals. NOTE TO PRESENTER: For more information about the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005, see: ( Also for more information on the Dietary Guidelines for the professional please see: (

9 This slide shows graphically how these recommendations and implementation tools relate to each other. The Dietary Reference Intakes nutrient-based recommendations are the starting point for all of the recommendations and tools shown. They were used as a major source of information by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in developing their science-based report. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans was then developed based on the Committee report. These all provide the basis for many consumer tools, which include those shown here: the MyPyramid food guidance system, Finding Your Way to a Healthier You (the Dietary Guidelines consumer brochure), and the Nutrition Facts Label. The Nutrition Facts Label is currently based on previous editions of the Dietary Guidelines and on the Recommended Dietary Allowances, which preceded the DRI reports. Future updates to the label will be based on the current recommendations. As you can see MyPyramid is based not only on the Dietary Guidelines but also on the Dietary Reference Intakes and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.

10 Now that everyone has heard about the background behind the pyramid the rest of this presentation focuses on MyPyramid and its development, its components, and its uses.

11 Guiding Principles— Unchanged
Evolutionary Useful Realistic Flexible Practical The guiding principles that underlie the development of MyPyramid are the same as they were for the original Food Guide Pyramid. The bottom three blocks contain the three main focus areas [CLICK FOR ANIMATION]—overall health, up-to-date research, and total diet. [Overall health]—MyPyramid is designed to promote well-being to maintain and improve overall health, rather than focus on a particular disease or condition. [Up-to-date research]—MyPyramid is based on up-to-date research so that the guidance recommends appropriate levels of nutrients and other food components consistent with current scientific knowledge [Total diet]—MyPyramid focuses on an overall diet, not just the foundation of nutrients needed. A total diet is balanced in essential nutrients while also specifying limits on other food components such as fats, cholesterol, and calories. Previous food guides (before the original Pyramid) established foundation diets that were designed to meet needs for essential nutrients and allowed anything else (such as fats or sugars) to be eaten in addition. The center blocks [CLICK FOR ANIMATION] identify principles that help to make the guidance useful, practical, realistic and flexible. [Useful]—The guide should target an audience and should build upon their previous knowledge and food guides [Realistic]—Nutrient needs should be met from commonly consumed foods rather than from foods only rich in those particular nutrients [Flexibility]—Consumers should be able to make choices among foods so that they can eat foods they like, while still meeting nutritional goals [Practical]—The guide should allow varying nutritional needs to be met by varying amounts served, rather than by selection of different foods The top block [CLICK FOR ANIMATION] notes the need to allow for evolution of the current guide—with time, changes will and can be made. A new food guide should be built on the success and concepts of previous guides. The release of MyPyramid is the first major evolution of USDA’s food guide since the original Pyramid, and it demonstrates how a new guide can change and yet build on previous success. Overall Health Up-to-Date Research Total Diet

12 Stages in Development Science base developed—2001 to 2004
Technical analysis process to establish the food intake patterns—“what and how much to eat” Completed in concert with development of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Consumer presentation developed—2004 to 2005 Food guidance system includes motivational and educational tools Messages and materials for consumers and professionals This presentation provides information to help professionals understand the research process that led up to the release of MyPyramid. There were two major stages in this development: Creating new food intake patterns that establish “what and how much” to eat from each food group through a systematic technical analysis of existing science, and Creating a way to present this information to consumers through a food guidance system that includes materials for consumers and professionals. Research for development of the food intake patterns was conducted beginning in 2001, and was completed in conjunction with the development of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Once the food intake patterns were finalized, the question of how to communicate this information to consumers was addressed. The development of a consumer presentation and materials began in 2004 and was completed with the release in April 2005. NOTE TO PRESENTER: Slides lay out the analytical steps of how the science base was developed. Slides lay out the development for the consumer materials. For more detailed information on each stage, please see the 2002 (technical process) and 2004 (consumer presentation) Federal Register notices, available on the CNPP website:

13 Developing MyPyramid Food Intake Patterns
The following section of the presentation details the development of new food intake patterns that provide the scientific basis for MyPyramid. NOTE: slides #13 – 28

14 Developing Food Intake Patterns
Determine calorie needs Set nutrient goals Calculate nutrient profiles for each food group, based on Nutrient content of foods in group Food consumption Construct food patterns that meet goals The food intake patterns were developed through this four step process: Determining calorie needs of the target audience, so that food intake patterns will be planned at appropriate calorie levels. Identifying the nutrition goals that the food intake patterns should strive to meet. Calculating the nutrient profiles of each food group, in other words, determining what nutrients can be expected from the consumption of various foods. Nutrient profiles are based on the nutrient content of foods in the group and on food consumption patterns (as will be seen later). Putting these first three sets of data together to construct food patterns that meet goals and form coherent patterns of eating. This presentation will show how each of these steps was accomplished to develop the MyPyramid Food Intake Patterns.

15 Determine Calorie Needs Estimated Energy Requirements* for males
USDA first determined appropriate calorie levels for the food intake patterns by identifying estimated requirements of the population. Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) equations developed by the Institute of Medicine were used to calculate energy needs for each age/gender group. These equations were used to determine the target energy level for the food intake patterns. (The example shown on this slide is for males.) The EER equations use age, height, weight, and physical activity level to estimate energy needs. The bars on this slide show the range of energy needs for males* at each age, depending on their level of physical activity. [CLICK FOR ANIMATION] The top of each bar represents energy needs of an active male while the bottom of the bar represents needs of a sedentary male of the same age. The graph depicts how energy needs transition through age, as well as varying with activity level. This information was used to set target calorie levels for each food intake pattern. To meet a person’s nutrient needs without exceeding their energy needs, the target calorie level was set toward the lower end of each bar. This assured that the food intake patterns would meet nutrient needs within the energy allowance of individuals who are sedentary. However, all individuals are encouraged to become active or more active. [This graph serves as a reminder that educators should encourage individuals to become more active in order to increase their energy allowance and maintain their weight as they age.] *NOTES TO PRESENTER: For the food intake patterns, a reference sized person of average height and healthy weight (for example, a BMI of 22.5 for men) were used. The line between the ages of in this particular graph separates children on the left and adults to the right because two different equations are used to calculate their energy requirements. A similar graph could be constructed for estimated energy needs of females. *From the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes Macronutrient Report

16 Set Nutrient Goals What level of nutrients should each food intake pattern strive for?
Goals based on Dietary Reference Intakes* and/or Dietary Guidelines standards for 9 Vitamins 8 Minerals 8 Macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) Separate nutrient goals set for each age/sex group based on their needs The second task in developing the food intake patterns was to decide what level of nutrients each food intake pattern should strive for. In most cases, the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) set by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine were used as the goals. In a few cases, a quantitative DRI standard was not set, but a standard from the Dietary Guidelines could be used. For example, goals for cholesterol and saturated fats are from the Dietary Guidelines since the advice in the DRI (“as low as possible”) is not quantitative. Separate nutrient goals were set for each food intake pattern, based on the nutrient standards for age/sex groups whose calorie needs matched that pattern. For example, the nutrient goals for the 1400 calorie intake pattern were those for 4 to 8 year old boys, while the nutrient goals for the 1600 calorie pattern were those for girls 9 to 13 AND women over 51. NOTE TO PRESENTER: Goals for each of the following nutrients were set for each food intake pattern: Vitamins: A (RDA), E (RDA), C (RDA), thiamin (RDA), riboflavin (RDA), niacin (RDA), B6 (RDA), folate (RDA), B12 (RDA) Minerals: calcium (AI), phosphorus (RDA), magnesium (RDA), iron (RDA), zinc (RDA), copper (RDA), sodium (UL), potassium (AI) Macronutrients: protein (RDA, AMDR), carbohydrate (RDA, AMDR), fiber (AI), linoleic acid (AI, AMDR), ALA (AI, AMDR), total fat (AMDR). Goals for cholesterol and saturated fat are from the Dietary Guidelines, advice in the DRI is not quantitative (“as low as possible”) RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance AI = Adequate Intake UL = Upper Limit AMDR = Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range *From the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine

17 Calculate Nutrient Profiles Determine amount of a nutrient each food group provides
For example: What is the vitamin A content of a typical dark green vegetable? The next type of information that is needed in developing food intake recommendations is how much of each nutrient to expect when recommending how much to eat from a food group. USDA calls this the nutrient profile of the food group. This may be best explained through an example. If a food guide recommends eating a certain amount of dark green vegetables, how much vitamin A should be expected from that recommended amount? In this example, the vitamin content of the two most popular dark green vegetables—broccoli and spinach—varies widely. Cooked spinach contains 943 micrograms of vitamin A equivalents per cup, while cooked broccoli contains 153 micrograms per cup. Cooked Spinach 943 µg per cup Cooked Broccoli 153 µg per cup

18 Nutrient Profiles How much of each dark green vegetable (DGV) is consumed? Percent of total DGV consumption Cooked Spinach Cooked Broccoli All other DGV To select an appropriate amount of vitamin A to assign to a cup of dark green vegetables, USDA used information on relative consumption of each food from national surveys. This shows that cooked spinach is 15% of all dark green vegetable consumption, and broccoli is 36%. All other DGV together make up the remaining 49%. These proportions are used to create a weighted average amount of vitamin A in dark green vegetables. NOTE TO PRESENTER: Full listing of the relative consumption of all dark green vegetables—from NHANES data: Broccoli, cooked 36% Broccoli, raw 8% Spinach, cooked 15% Spinach raw 6% Romaine, endive, escarole 27% Collard Greens, cooked 4% Mustard Greens, cooked 1% Kale, cooked 1% Turnip Greens, cooked 1%

19 Nutrient Profiles Calculate weighted average of vitamin A in DGV
Result (943 x .15) + (153 x .36) + … , etc. = 334 µg/cup Spinach Broccoli Other DGV The weighted average amount of vitamin A is calculated by multiplying the amount of vitamin A in one cup of every dark green vegetable by its share of consumption—here that is 15% (or .15) for cooked spinach and 36% (or .36) for cooked broccoli and so on. Then the amounts are summed to result in the expected amount of vitamin A in the weighted consumption of one cup of dark green vegetables. This approach allows USDA to determine an expected nutrient content for recommended amounts from each food group. Using a weighted average for determining nutrient profiles is important, because the profiles more closely match the nutrients obtained from foods based on typical choices made by Americans within that food group. Otherwise, especially rich sources of nutrients that are rarely eaten could skew the nutrient profiles. Nutrient profiles are calculated in the same way for all other nutrients, such as iron, calcium, etc., in the dark green vegetable group. NOTE TO PRESENTERS: The full list of vegetables included in the dark green vegetable nutrient profile calculation is listed in the notes section of slide #18.

20 Nutrient Profiles Nutrient Nutrient Likelihood of
A profile is calculated for all nutrients in each food group and subgroup. Calculations are based on “nutrient dense forms” of each food—lean or lowfat, with no added sugar Nutrient Nutrient Likelihood of profile of = Sum contribution X each food food group of each food being eaten Nutrient profiles are calculated for each nutrient in all food groups. These allow USDA to identify the nutrients that can be “expected” from a cup of dark green vegetables, a cup of fruit, or an ounce-equivalent of whole grains, for example. The foods used in these calculations are all selected in their most “nutrient dense forms*,” that is, in their leanest or most low-fat form and with no added sugar. For example, the chicken used to calculate the meat and beans group nutrient profile is skinless, and the ground beef used is 95% lean. This means that the nutrient profile for each group presents a “best case” nutritional profile for food choices. The resulting nutrient profile for each food group is based on the sum of the nutrient contribution of each food in the group times the likelihood of that food being consumed. NOTES TO PRESENTER: *There is no established definition for “nutrient density,” the term “nutrient dense forms” of foods is operationally defined here as stated above (foods in low-fat or fat-free and no-added-sugars forms). Data used in determining the nutrient profiles for the MyPyramid food intake patterns were ARS Standard Release 17 food composition data and NHANES food consumption data. n

21 Construct Food Intake Patterns
Establish initial amount from each food group Compare resulting nutrient content to nutritional goals Change amounts from food groups stepwise Identify groups or subgroups that are the most feasible nutrient sources Check amounts recommended against typical consumption Remaining calories after nutrient needs were met were identified as “discretionary calories” After energy needs and nutrient goals for each age-sex group and nutrient profiles for each food group have been established, these data are used to construct the food patterns. USDA started by assigning an initial amount based on the original pyramid’s patterns. Then, the nutrients and energy levels of those initial patterns were compared to goals. Amounts were modified step-by-step to bring the intake patterns closer to the goals. Food groups rich in needed nutrients were thus increased. The total calorie level of each pattern was kept within the target range. Amounts from each food group were also compared to amounts typically consumed, to make sure that recommendations for change were not larger than needed for nutrient adequacy. The resulting food intake patterns met almost all* nutrient goals and kept energy intakes within needs. They provide for a balanced intake from each food group within an individual’s calorie limit. The small remaining energy balance within each pattern was identified as discretionary calories. *Nutrient goals were not met for vitamin E. Amounts ranged from 50% (1600 calorie level, females age 51 to 70) to 100% (3200 calorie level, males age 14-18) across the intake patterns. In addition, goals for potassium were not met in patterns with less than 2400 calories, and goals for sodium were exceeded in patterns with more than 2400 calories. Rich sources of vitamin E and potassium are listed in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.

22 Discretionary Calories A new concept first described by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Total estimated Discretionary = energy — Essential calories requirement calories* The concept of “discretionary calories” was first described by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. When all food choices are in “nutrient-dense forms”—that is lean or low-fat, with no added sugars—then nutrient needs can be met with fewer calories than the amount required for energy balance. The calories needed to meet nutrient needs are called “essential calories.” By subtracting the essential calories from a person’s total energy requirements, the number of calories available for discretionary food choices can be determined. This remaining balance of discretionary calories permits some choices of foods with higher levels of fat and some added sugars intake, or increased intake from any food group. These amounts of “extras” are lower than most Americans now consume, however. As energy requirements increase with increased physical activity, the amount of discretionary calories increases. For example, in the 1800 calorie food intake pattern, there are about 200 discretionary calories, while in the 2200 calorie pattern, there are about 300. *Essential calories are the calories needed to meet nutrient requirements when consuming foods in lean, low-fat, and no-added-sugar forms.

23 Discretionary Calories May be used to:
Increase amount of food selected from a food group Consume foods that are not in the lowest fat form—such as 2% milk or medium-fat meat or items that contain added sugars Add oil, fat, or sugar to foods Consume alcohol (for those who consume alcohol) If consumers make food choices that are in low-fat and no-added sugars forms, some discretionary calories are available after they meet nutrient requirements, within their total energy needs. These calories may be used to increase the amount of food selected from a food group; to consume foods that are not in the lowest fat form, such as 2% milk or medium-fat meat or items that contain added sugars; or to add oil, fat or sugar to foods. For those who consume alcohol, discretionary calories may be used to consume alcoholic beverages.

24 MyPyramid Recommendations Compared to Consumption
Bars show percent change needed in consumption to meet recommendations Increases Current Consumption Decreases How do the final food intake patterns compare with what Americans now eat? This graph depicts that comparison for two age-sex groups, The bars show the percent change needed in food consumption to meet recommendations. The zero line indicates the amount currently consumed, and the bars indicate the percent increase (above the zero line) or decrease (below the zero line) in consumption that is needed to meet recommendations. This slide shows the five food groups. To meet recommendations individuals need a substantial increase in consumption for three food groups—fruits, vegetables and milk. For example, males need to increase fruit intake by about a 150% , which translates to about 1.2 cup increase in fruit intake, while women need to increase their fruit intake by about a 110%, which equates to a 0.8 cup increase. NOTE TO PRESENTER: Actual amounts recommended and actual consumption (Males and Females ages 31-50) Food Amount Recommended Average Amount Consumed Group Males Females Males Females 31-50 Fruits 2 cups 1.5 cups 0.8 cups 0.8 cups Vegetables 3 cups 2.5 cups 2.1 cups 1.6 cups Grains 7 oz. eq. 6 oz. eq oz. eq. 5.9 oz. eq. Meat & Beans 6 oz. eq. 5 oz. eq oz. eq. 4.6 oz. eq. Milk 3 cups 3 cups 1.8 cups 1.4 cups Consumption data is based on NHANES data Fruits Vegetables Grains Meat & Beans Milk

25 Fat, Oil & Added Sugars Allowances Compared to Consumption
Bars show percent change needed in consumption to meet recommendations Increases Current Consumption Decreases This graph also shows the percent change needed to stay within allowances for fats, oils, and added sugars. It presents a much different picture. To stay within calorie limits and to compensate for increased consumption of vegetables, fruit, and milk—individuals need to choose substantially less solid fats and added sugars than they are now eating, on average. For example, males need to decrease solid fat intake to about 50% of the amount they now consume, or an average decrease of 27 grams of solid fats, and women also need to decrease solid fat intake to about 50% of current consumption, an average decrease of 18 grams of solid fats. Again, the zero line indicates the amount currently consumed, and the bars indicate the percent decrease in consumption that is needed to stay within sample allowances. The separation of fats into solid fats and oils is new with the revision of the food intake patterns. This separation reflects the advice in the current Dietary Guidelines to limit intake of fats high in saturated and trans fatty acids (i.e., solid fats), and have most fat intake come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (i.e., oils). NOTE TO PRESENTER: Solid fat, oil and added sugars allowances and actual consumption (Males and Females ages 31-50) Amount Recommended Average Amount Consumed Category Males Females Males Females 31-50 Solid Fats 19 g 15 g g 32.6 g Oils 29 g 24 g g 23.6 g Added Sugars 36 g 20 g g 19.4 g Consumption data is based on NHANES data Solid fats Oils Added sugars

26 Vegetable Recommendations Compared to Consumption
Consumed* Recommended* 22% 45% Americans need to increase vegetable consumption somewhat, but they mainly need to increase the variety of vegetables they eat. They are not eating various types of vegetables in the proportions recommended. The pie chart on the left shows the proportion of all vegetables consumed from each subgroup for females age 31-50, and the pie chart on the right shows MyPyramid recommendations for this same age/sex group. The increased intake of vegetables that MyPyramid recommends should come from the dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, and legumes categories. This would result in the increased proportion of vegetable consumption from these subgroups, as is shown in the pie chart. These increases are a challenge, but doable. They represent a two to three fold increase in consumption for these vegetable subgroups, but in actual amounts are only about 2 additional cups PER WEEK of dark green vegetables, for example. Vegetable subgroup recommendations are given as weekly amounts because it is not expected that all 5 subgroups should be consumed every day. NOTES TO PRESENTER: Vegetable subgroups actual consumption v. recommendations (Females ages 31-50) Amount Recommended Weekly Average Amount Consumed Weekly Category Females Females 31-50 Dark green 3 cups 1.0 cups Orange 2 cups .7 cups Legumes 3 cups .8 cups Starchy 3 cups 3.5 cups Other 6.5 cups 5.5 cups Consumption data is based on NHANES data Dark Green Vegetables Legumes Starchy Vegetables Orange Vegetables Other Vegetables *Females 31-50

27 Grain Recommendations Compared to Consumption
Consumed* Recommended* A similar shift is needed in the Grain Group. Americans are currently eating enough grains but they are eating too many refined grains and not enough whole grains. The graph on the left of this slide shows the current intake of refined and whole grains for females age while the graph on the right shows the recommendation that at least 50% of grains should be whole grains. For example, females need about a 2 ounce equivalent increase in whole grain consumption and about a 2 ounce equivalent decrease in refined grain consumption to meet the recommended 50% whole grain intake. Note that the recommendation is “at least”—all grains can be whole grains. If all grains are consumed as whole grains, however, the Dietary Guidelines suggests that it is advisable to include some folate-fortified products such as whole grain breakfast cereals. NOTE TO PRESENTER: Grain recommendation v. actual consumption by Females 31-50 Amount Recommended Daily Average Amount Consumed Daily Whole Grains 3 ounce equivalents ounce equivalent Refined Grains 3 ounce equivalents ounce equivalent Consumption data is based on NHANES data Whole Grains Refined Grains *Females 31-50

28 Food Intake Patterns Completed in concert with development of Dietary Guidelines Published in 2005 Dietary Guidelines 12 patterns—ranging from 1000 to 3200 calories—to meet varied needs. As noted, USDA completed development of the food intake patterns in conjunction with the work of 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The final 12 food intake patterns, for males and females ages 2 and over, were published in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. The patterns can also be found on the website, on the “For Professionals” page. NOTE TO PRESENTER: For a complete list of the food intake calorie levels please refer to the For Professionals page on

29 Developing MyPyramid Consumer Presentation
The following section of the presentation details the development of the MyPyramid graphic and materials for consumers. NOTE: slides #29 – 42

30 Developing MyPyramid’s Consumer Presentation
Systems approach for communications Input from stakeholders Consumer research Understanding of messages Appeal of potential designs/messages Development of materials The food intake patterns, which had been developed through an analytical process to meet specific nutritional goals, provide a sound science-based foundation for consumer education, but they are not useful to consumers as is. Messages and materials to help consumers understand and implement these food intake patterns were developed through the steps outlined on this slide. These steps included developing a systems approach, obtaining stakeholder input, conducting consumer research to provide messages that were easy to understand and to determine a design that would appeal to the audiences, and finally, developing the materials. The result of this process was the MyPyramid Food Guidance System and The following section provides additional information about the systems approach and how consumer research and stakeholder input was used in developing the consumer messages and materials.

31 Systems Approach for Communications
To Include Graphic symbol and slogan Consumer messages Interactive guidance tools—personalized Print materials Materials for professionals Food intake patterns Educational framework USDA developed a plan for a system of consumer materials to communicate the new information to the public. The proposed components of the system are outlined here, and were presented to stakeholders for their input and comments. Graphic symbol and slogan were intended to be motivational—to remind consumers to eat healthy and exercise, and to encourage them to go to the website for more information. Consumer messages were intended to provide the guidance consumers need in ways that are easy to understand and put into practice. Interactive tools were intended to provide the individualized and detailed information that many consumers want, but could not find in general materials. Print materials were intended to reach audiences without access to the internet and provide the general messages that apply to all consumers. Materials for professionals were intended to give the detailed scientific background information that professionals need in order to use and adapt MyPyramid to their own audiences, and to lay out for professionals all of MyPyramid’s message concepts in an organized, easy to use format. This approach and the elements were fine-tuned after receiving much positive stakeholder input, which included many specific suggestions.

32 Consumer Research Understanding of original Pyramid and potential messages
Sample findings: “Healthy eating” means variety, moderation, and eating fruits and vegetables. Pyramid depicts a healthy diet, but it is complicated Limited understanding of food group placement on graphic Need help understanding whole grains, types of fat A “serving” is “what is on my plate” Several rounds of consumer research were conducted to identify what messages consumers understood, and what was confusing to them. The results from this research helped USDA shape the consumer materials to improve their usefulness. Some of the important findings from this research about the original Pyramid included: Consumers have a general understanding of what healthy eating means, but have trouble in putting these concepts in practice. Consumers understand the general messages that the original Pyramid conveyed, but thought that it was complicated and had a hard time identifying detailed information from the graphic, such as placement of food groups. Some food groups and concepts were difficult for consumers—especially understanding the various types of fats and oils and where they are found; what whole grains are; and identifying various types of vegetables. Finally, consumers do not use the word “serving” in the same way that nutrition professionals do. They consider a serving to be their portion, or what is on their plate. They were averse to trying to understand the alternative that defined a serving as a standardized amount of food.

33 Servings Daily Amounts in cups or ounces
The research finding about using the term “servings” in nutrition education settings bears repeating. Consumers use the term “serving” to mean their portion of food, so describing recommended amounts as a certain “number of servings” means to them that they should eat it that many times…even if their typical portion is much larger than the standardized “serving” professionals envision. (CLICK FOR ANIMATION) Therefore, USDA chose to eliminate the use of the term “servings” in describing how much to eat. Instead, they describe recommended amounts in cups or ounces for the day, which can be eaten as several portions at different times. The use of cups or ounces was well understood by consumers as long as examples were provided for each food group. The website provides examples of how much food should be considered a cup or ounce equivalent in every food group. Daily Amounts in cups or ounces

34 Consumer Research Graphic and Slogan Development
Several rounds of qualitative testing Explored consumer reactions and appeal of images Tested a variety of graphic images Consumers preferred a pyramid-like shape Slogans and key messages also tested Development of the MyPyramid graphic and slogan also included several rounds of consumer research. Potential graphic images were tested for their appeal and to identify which would serve as the best reminder for “healthy eating and physical activity” A variety of shapes were tested, but those that were Pyramid-shaped were most preferred. Most consumers were aware of the original Pyramid, and felt that a Pyramid shape represented healthy eating to them. A number of slogans were also tested with consumers. The clear favorite was “Steps to a Healthier You” which both symbolized the need for physical activity and the need to take action. Key messages were tested to assure that consumers found the messages easy to understand and would help them to make better decisions about eating a healthier diet.

35 Final Graphic Design Activity Proportionality Moderation Variety
Personalization Gradual Improvement The final graphic design merged the Pyramid shape, a new pattern of vertical stripes for the food groups, stairs to symbolize physical activity, and a person. Inclusion of a person not only emphasized the physical activity message, but helped to personalize the graphic for consumers. The overall design promotes the concept of finding a balance between food intake and physical activity. The design is intentionally simple, but still can be used by professionals to demonstrate six essential concepts: activity, proportionality, moderation, variety, personalization, and gradual improvement. [NOTE: more information about each concept is found on the “Anatomy of MyPyramid” sheet found at Four of these concepts—variety, proportionality, moderation, and activity—come directly from recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines and can help to remind consumers of these important concepts. The next few slides show these recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines and how they are translated in the MyPyramid graphic.

36 Message: Variety In the Dietary Guidelines:
Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups. In MyPyramid graphic: Color bands represent that all food groups are needed each day for health. One key message that is drawn from the Dietary Guidelines recommendations is variety. In the Dietary Guidelines, eating “a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic foods groups” each day is recommended. In addition, the Guidelines recommend choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In MyPyramid the basic variety message is portrayed by the different colored bands. [CLICK FOR ANIMATION] These six bands represent the five food groups and oils that are needed each day for health. By color coding the bands, consumers are reminded that different types of foods are all necessary. NOTE TO PRESENTER: This slide and the following 3 slides include animated elements. Clicking the mouse button where noted in the text will start the animation when the presentation is in slide show mode. If your version of Powerpoint does not support this animation, you will see the static image, as shown above.

37 Food Groups are Color Coded
Each food group is identified by a unique color. This color is used both in the graphic and in information about that group. USDA encourages professionals to adopt this color coding when educating consumers about each group, so that the colors become tied to the group, for easy reference. Note that, the narrow yellow band in the graphic represents oils. While oils are needed in the diet as a source of important nutrients (essential fatty acids and vitamin E), they are not considered a food group.

38 Message: Proportionality
In the Dietary Guidelines: Adopt a balanced eating pattern. Sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables, 3 or more ounce equivalents of whole-grain products per day 3 cup equivalents per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. In MyPyramid graphic: Differing widths of the color bands suggest about how much food should be eaten from each group. Another key message drawn from Dietary Guidelines recommendations is proportionality. In the Dietary Guidelines adopting a “balanced eating pattern, such as the USDA food guide* or the DASH eating plan*” is recommended. Additional recommendations encourage consumption of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low fat milk products than are now consumed by most Americans. In MyPyramid the proportionality message is portrayed by the varying thickness of the food group bands. [CLICK FOR ANIMATION] These widths suggest that a person should choose more from the bigger wedges and vice versa. However, these bands do not suggest exact proportions. They are just a general guide for proportions of food one should consume. The actual amounts that are recommended vary by age, sex, and activity level. *NOTE TO PRESENTER: The term “USDA food guide” was used in the Dietary Guidelines because MyPyramid had not been released at the time the Guidelines were issued. The USDA food guide is another name for the food intake patterns that form the basis for MyPyramid. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. More information about the DASH eating plan can be found at ( NOTE TO PRESENTER: The “per day” recommendations are intended to be averages over time.

39 Message: Moderation In the Dietary Guidelines:
Limit intake of saturated and trans fats, and choose products low in these fats. Make choices of meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk products that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free. Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or calorie sweeteners. In MyPyramid graphic: Food group bands narrow from bottom to top suggesting to eat nutrient-dense forms of foods. Another key message drawn from the Dietary Guideline recommendations is moderation. In the Dietary Guidelines, choosing foods that “limit intake of saturated and trans fats”, choosing meat, poultry, beans, and milk products that are “lean, low-fat, or fat-free,” and selecting “foods and beverages with little added sugars” is recommended. In MyPyramid, moderation is depicted by the narrowing of the bands from bottom to top. [CLICK FOR ANIMATION] Foods within a food group can vary in the amounts of solid fats and added sugars they contain. The bottom, wider portion of each band represents the foods in the most nutrient dense form—that is, containing little or no solid fats and added sugars. The top, narrow end of each band represents foods within the group with more solid fat and added sugars. For example, an apple would be at the bottom of the fruit band, sweetened applesauce higher in the band, and apple pie towards the top. Selecting more foods from the bottom of the bands provides more nutrition from the calories consumed. However, the more active a person becomes the more they can eat items from the narrow end of the band.

40 Message: Physical Activity
In the Dietary Guidelines: Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight. In MyPyramid graphic: Steps and person on them symbolize that physical activity should be a part of everyday healthy living. The fourth message drawn from the Dietary Guidelines is physical activity. In the Dietary Guidelines, regular physical activity is recommended to promote health and mental well-being. In MyPyramid, steps up the side of the Pyramid and a person actively climbing the steps are included to represent the advice to engage in regular physical activity. [CLICK FOR ANIMATION] Physical activity is important to every day living and can improve one’s health by reducing the risks for many diseases. The Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid encourage adults to engage in at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most, preferably all days of the week. For children, the recommendation is 60 minutes on most, preferably all, days of the week.

41 Additional Messages in the MyPyramid Graphic To foster implementation
Personalization: The name “MyPyramid” suggests an individual approach. The person climbing the steps mentally links each viewer to the image. Gradual Improvement: The slogan “Steps to a Healthier You” suggests that improvement should happen in stages, over time. Two additional messages on the MyPyramid graphic are personalization and gradual improvement. These two concepts were included to foster behavioral change among consumers and encourage implementation of the new food guidance system. Personalization is depicted by the name “MyPyramid” and by the person climbing the steps. In addition, the web site allows people to find their own personal recommended food intake amounts. Calorie and nutrient needs differ so a personalized food intake pattern based on age/gender and physical activity can be obtained on allows a person to relate the food guidance to their own lifestyle for improved health. Gradual improvement is portrayed by the slogan “steps to the healthier you,” which suggests changes can be made in stages or steps over time. These changes include awareness of what one is actually eating, a reminder to vary food intake and to exercise. No matter how small the step in the right direction, gradual improvement to one’s health can be made.

42 Key food group messages from the Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid:
Focus on fruits. Vary your veggies. Get your calcium-rich foods. Another link between the Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid are the key messages for each food group. The page shown here is from the Dietary Guidelines consumer brochure “Finding Your Way to the Healthier You.” The key messages for each food group in this brochure are also the key messages used for each food group in MyPyramid consumer materials. These messages were selected for both the Dietary Guidelines consumer brochure and for MyPyramid after consumer research showed that people found the messages easy to understand and would help them make better decisions about eating a healthier diet. Make half your grains whole. Go lean with protein. Know the limits on fats, salt, and sugars.

43 Using MyPyramid Consumer Materials
The following section of the presentation describes the various MyPyramid materials that are available and how professionals can use them with their audiences. NOTE: slides #43 – 61

44 Consumer materials Graphic image and slogan Poster Mini Poster
Website: MyPyramid Plan MyPyramid Tracker Inside MyPyramid In development: Kids materials Spanish version A variety of consumer materials are currently available to the public. While most of the detailed content is provided on the website, USDA has not abandoned traditional print materials, but has enhanced them with web-based tools and information.

45 Print materials: Mini Poster
The major print materials now available are a wall poster and a mini poster. Both USDA and nutrition educators around the nation are in the process of creating additional print materials to meet varied needs. The mini poster is available in hard copy, which can be purchased from the Government Printing Office (GPO). A .pdf copy can be also be downloaded from the website. [] The mini poster provides the basic MyPyramid messages which apply to everyone. The next slide shows the other side of the mini poster…

46 Print materials: Mini Poster
The back of the mini poster gives basic messages for each food group, the amounts recommended from each food group at a 2000 calorie food intake level, and messages about physical activity, fats, sugars, and salt. The wall-size poster contains the same content as both the front and back of the mini poster, but it is all on one side.

47 The website provides the most information for consumers and for professionals. This slide shows the homepage. Users can access MyPyramid Plan, MyPyramid Tracker, and many other helpful tips for professionals and consumers. [CLICK for emphasis circle to appear] MyPyramid Plan can be accessed directly from the home page.

48 With the MyPyramid Plan, you enter your age, sex, weight, height, and one of three physical activity levels, to obtain a food intake pattern that is right for each person.

49 This is the results screen for MyPyramid Plan after entering data on the home page. The above information is for a 54 year old male who is active for at least 60 minutes a day. The recommendations for food intake are personalized according to the data entered on the homepage—one of the many new aspects of MyPyramid. In addition, this webpage provides a variety of links to additional information about each food group, oils, and discretionary calories. [CLICK for emphasis circle to appear] It also has links to two .pdf files that can be printed to give consumers a “take-away” version of their food intake pattern.

50 This shows one of the .pdf files that can be downloaded and printed from MyPyramid Plan. It is the meal tracking worksheet, which allows consumers to compare the foods they ate to their food group goals for the day. [CLICK for emphasis circle to appear] It also encourages setting food intake and physical activity goals for the future. This worksheet can be used by individual consumers, but it also can be used by professionals working with clients individually or in groups.

51 Another way to access information is through the “Inside the Pyramid” pages. Detailed information about each food group and related topics can be found on these pages. [CLICK for emphasis circle to appear] Clicking on “learn more” leads to specific information—such as what counts as an ounce equivalent of grains, what whole grains are and why they are important, and tips to help consumers choose more whole grains. Similar information is found “Inside the Pyramid” for each food group, oils, discretionary calories, and physical activity.

52 Information of special interest to professionals can be found on the “For Professionals” page. [CLICK for emphasis circle to appear] Check here for the Education Framework, which can help you plan your own lessons or organize information for your own materials. The Framework provides all the key concepts of the MyPyramid food guidance system. These key concepts are not intended as direct consumer messages, but rather as a framework of ideas from which professionals can develop consumer messages and materials. NOTE: The for professional page is located at

53 MyPyramid Tracker A tool for those desiring a more advanced analysis of their food intake and physical activity MyPyramid Tracker is an advanced tool for analyzing food intake and energy expenditure. Through MyPyramid Tracker, users can get their own personalized assessment of their diet, physical activity pattern, and energy balance.

54 MyPyramid Tracker allows consumers who really want to make a change in their lifestyle to keep track of their food intake and energy expenditure daily. It permits consumers to save their input and monitor their daily progress over a period from one day up to to one year according to their personalized dietary and physical activity recommendations.

55 MyPyramid Tracker requires a log-in for new users, so that they can save their input over time and access their own data, while also keeping it secure. After the initial use, a simplified log-in screen simply asks for the user ID and password.

56 Tracker analyzes food intake using a database of about 8000 food items
Tracker analyzes food intake using a database of about 8000 food items. After food intake has been entered for the day, a number of ways to assess the output are possible. This is a screen from the MyPyramid Tracker which shows MyPyramid food group recommendations side-by-side with the person’s actual intake of food for that day. This is an easy chart that shows visually how close one came to meeting recommendations.

57 Another analysis option allows users to compare their food intake to Dietary Guidelines recommendations. This screen shows how a person’s food intake compares to food group recommendations, and to fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium recommendations. The “emoticon” gives feedback on how well a person has met or not met each recommendation. An additional output page allows the user to assess their intake of 27 individual nutrients.

58 This screen shows how MyPyramid Tracker depicts energy balance—caloric intake v. energy expenditure. The seesaw shows how balanced or unbalanced a person is for that particular day. Here, a person consumed 121 more calories than they expended for the day.

59 Also available in MyPyramid Tracker is the ability to keep track of eating and energy expenditure habits over time. This screen shows the food energy intake history for 1 week. Histories can be seen for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and up to a full year. The history function can be used for all food groups and nutrients as well as for calories and physical activity. This can be very beneficial for those people who want to track their progress towards a healthy lifestyle.

60 Adapting MyPyramid The professionals’ role
Meeting varied needs Audiences—Older Americans, low-literacy, Spanish speaking Food preferences—Vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, ethnic Situations—Eating out, carrying in, cooking at home While offers a wealth of specific advice, there is still a need for professionals to adapt these materials for there own specific situation. Audiences: Those who work with a specific target audience may want to create materials specific for those audiences. For example, older Americans may need materials in large print, and low-literacy audiences may need materials written at a lower reading level. Also, translation into other languages will help communicate these messages to audiences for whom English is not their primary language. Food Preferences: While MyPyramid provides a variety of specific food suggestions, more guidance can help those who choose foods that are substantially different from typical choices of most Americans. For example, identifying a range of vegetarian/vegan choices or alternatives to lactose-containing milk products will help some consumers to meet their nutrient needs. Identifying foods commonly eaten by various ethnic groups can help these consumers understand how their choices fit into each food group. Some groups that traditionally eat many mixed dishes may not recognize that the recommendation to eat vegetables includes those vegetables contained in the soups or stews that they eat. Situations: Food choices may be different when a consumer eats foods away from home, or foods prepared away from home. Professionals can help identify what choices in these situations will lead to a healthy pattern of eating. Interpreting the guidance in MyPyramid and providing materials, programs, and counseling specific to the target audience’s needs is an important role for all nutrition professionals.

61 Implementation Implementation is the challenge ahead.
Health/education professionals are vital for success. It will be an ongoing process. Working together, we can help Americans to be healthier. The challenge ahead for all professionals is to implement the new nutrition guidance provided in the Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid. This photo compares the challenge of implementing MyPyramid’s recommendations to running a marathon—it is a a long commitment rather than a sprint, and it will require the work of a large number of professionals to make a positive difference in Americans’ health.


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