Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack announced the first themed message, Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables, supporting the new MyPlate food icon and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative through a new national private-sector partnership program.
"We know that consumers are inundated with multiple nutrition messages that make it difficult to focus on changes that are necessary to improve their diet," said Secretary Vilsack.
"USDA is committed to helping Americans make healthier food choices and our MyPlate symbol is a great reminder to think before we eat. By working with our national partners we can coordinate and amplify efforts to promote healthy eating tips like ‘Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables' that serve as easy to understand reminders that we can all incorporate into our daily lives."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (USDA CNPP) has called upon its 44 National Strategic Partners and over 3,500 Community Partners to amplify this message nationwide. In a novel approach, to extend this healthy eating message to the general public, National Strategic Partners have adopted a day during the month of September to promote Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. A calendar showing the name of each National Strategic Partner that has adopted a day along with contact information may be downloaded at www.cnpp.usda.gov/AdoptADay.pdf.
National Strategic Partners are organizations, such as major corporations and associations, which are national in scope. Community Partners are organizations, such as health clinics, schools, gyms and weight loss centers, churches, doctors, etc., that serve local, state or regional individuals and families.
New messages in the months to come will include Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less; Drink Water Instead of Sugary Drinks; Make at Least Half Your Grains Whole Grains; and Avoid Oversized Portions. Later this year, the USDA will unveil an online tool that consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical activity choices.