By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.
Last year the United States Department of Agriculture updated the Food Guide Pyramid to the ChooseMyPlate graphic which featured a colorful plate divided into fruits, vegetables, grains and protein with the dairy on the side. The narrative was make half of your plate fruits and vegetables and enjoy your food but eat less. The USDA has introduced a SuperTracker which can help keep you on track. It’s timing consuming but it may be worth the investment to help you maintain your good health over time. Because taxpayers are funding this project, it’s all FREE. Some other websites provide the same type of services but they are not FREE.
The SuperTracker Helps to Keep Consumers on Track
The SuperTracker helps you to:
1. Easily identify your personal recommendation for what and how much to eat and how much physical activity you need to maintain your health.
2. Find and track foods and activities.
3. Compare personal food choices to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
4. Assess personal physical activities based on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
5. Access all food group and nutrient information for over 8,000 foods and a comprehensive database of over 800 physical activities. 6. Using customizable features to personalize.
Using Customizable Features to Personalize Your Health
My Top 5 Goals – you choose your personal goals, sign up for tips and support from your virtual coach.
My Weight Manager – You can get weight management pointers, enter your weight and track your progress over time and compare your weight history to trends in calorie intake and physical activity.
My Journal – You can Track factors of personal importance such as meal location and mood.
My Reports – You can choose from six reports ranging from a simple meal summary to an in-depth analysis of food group and nutrient intakes.
Tap into Social Media – This can help to motivate good health behavior. You can share your success and helpful tips with others in a social network format.
USDA Can Use the Data to Track Successes
The good news is that the USDA can use the information they track to determine how successful Americans are at losing and maintaining their weight loss. In addition, they assess trends in eating behavior and how social media can help educate consumers.
Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N, is a registered dietitian who has been teaching healthy lifestyles strategies to consumers for over 35+ years. Barbara has a new health and wellness online magazine as well.