|10-15-2006, 04:21 PM||#1|
| TALO |
Rank: Light Heavyweight
Experience: 5-7 Years
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Alberta , Canada
I found this (not sure if it has been posted or not ) and thought it's about time they updated. Something for everyone.
|10-16-2006, 09:08 AM||#7|
| EricT |
Experience: 7-10 Years
Join Date: Jul 2005
THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 33 - NO. 6 - JUNE 2005
Food Pyramid Goes Interactive
What's New for Patients?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently unveiled MyPyramid, a new series of nutrition recommendations that replaces the previous food guide pyramid. The USDA hopes the new version will motivate consumers to make healthier food choices and increase their daily physical activity. According to the USDA, MyPyramid reflects the latest nutritional science and parallels the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in January of 2005. The recommendations are available at http://www.MyPyramid.gov.
The new food guide pyramid has been turned on its side and streamlined. A staircase up the side is designed to remind people to make small "Steps to a Healthier You." Bands of color represent the various food groups (orange for grains, green for vegetables, red for fruit, yellow for fats and oils, blue for milk, and purple for meats). Foods that should be eaten often (eg, grains, fruits, vegetables) have a wider color band than foods that should be eaten sparingly (eg, oils). Each color stripe is wider at the bottom to represent that unrefined foods (eg, whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables) should be eaten more often. The amount of processing with added sugars and fats increases as the stripe narrows toward the top, suggesting that fewer of these foods be eaten. All this is implied—but not specifically stated—in the graphic.
The familiar one-size-fits-all food pyramid has been replaced by 12 food patterns. Consumers who visit the Web site are asked to input their age, sex, and activity level. They are then guided to one of 12 food patterns based on daily nutrition needs ranging from 1,000 to 3,200 calories. Worksheets can be printed from the MyTracker page to help consumers monitor their food choices and activity level. Doctors and nutritionists can select "For Professionals" from the menu on the home page for access to educational tools.
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, a sports nutritionist in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, calls the pyramid a "missed opportunity." For example, she says the graphic loses its educational value when photocopied in black and white. She also notes that although the Web site has merit, not everyone has access to a computer. The Web site doesn't ask for height or weight, just age, when calculating calorie needs. "Although the pyramid validates that exercise is important, the calorie calculations for athletes tend to be on the low side," she says. Clark thinks a calorie range, rather than a single number, would be more appropriate.
Phillip Zinni III, DO, ATC/L, corporate medical director for E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, California, says the new interactive Web site is useful. Two of his patients began using the site after he referred them to it. Zinni says the graphic, however, is confusing, because it doesn't tell you if the base is good or bad, how wide a band has to be before it's considered "bad," or which bands clinicians should emphasize to their patients.
Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, a nutrition authority and author in Mercer Island, Washington, says the concept is a good one, but the material isn't really ready for public use yet. "There are many errors and inconsistencies as you move around through the site and input information," she says. One problem she notes is possible confusion about carbohydrate sources. "Starchy vegetables are listed under vegetables, but nutritionally the carb contents make them more similar to breads. A bread/starch category would be helpful so that people really understand what they are eating," Kleiner says. She says that people may still want more help with menu planning, but this is a good start. Kleiner cautions users not to take the recommendations as gospel, and to wait until the bugs are worked out of the program.
Donald M. Christie, Jr, MD, an internist and sports medicine physician in Lewiston, Maine, says he recommends the new food pyramid Web site to all his patients who have Internet access, a knack for spending time on-line, and enough patience to click through all the steps. He sees one benefit in that the Web site lists amounts of actual foods, which helps patients translate theoretical needs into "real food," and that helps them decide what to buy at the grocery store. He adds that the graphic might better be called a "technicolor dreamcoat" or a "food rainbow" rather than a pyramid and reminds patients to shop for the colors of "real food," rather than artificially colored, prepared foods.
Patricia D. Mees