Why Do Few Americans Know about Nutrition Guide?

Only one in four Americans knows about the government’s latest efforts to get people to eat healthily.

This information comes from a study published Tuesday by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) introduced the logo, an image representing healthy eating, in 2011. It was called MyPlate. The image replaces the food pyramid logo used by the USDA from 1992 to 2011. Nutritionists have criticized the food pyramid for placing too much emphasis on carbohydrates from grains and not enough on fats.

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MyPlate uses a smaller circle for dairy products like low-fat milk or yogurt, and a dinner plate with four colored compartments for fruit, vegetables, grains and protein. It encourages Americans to make fruit and vegetables half of their meals.

This image, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows the MyPlate logo, introduced in 2011 to promote healthy eating.

This image, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows the MyPlate logo, introduced in 2011 to promote healthy eating.
A Mediterranean diet with walnuts.  (California Walnut Commission)

A Mediterranean diet with walnuts. (California Walnut Commission)

The study also found that about 10 percent of Americans try to follow MyPlate’s guidance. This means that the program, which costs about $3 million a year, does not reach the vast majority of Americans. Diet-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease have continued to rise since the launch of MyPlate.

“This is currently the primary educational tool for Americans to communicate guidelines,” said Edwina Wambogo, lead author of the study. He is a nutritionist at a health information agency. “MyPlate should be in a little better condition.”

Marion Nestle, a food policy expert, said the MyPlate program does not include an education program and does not deal with many of the foods Americans eat.

A USDA official said the agency’s proposed 2023 budget aims to increase spending on the program from $3 million to $10 million per year. The idea is to help the MyPlate program reach more people.

The latest study shows that people who call their diets WonderfulPeople who said MyPlate was very good or good were more likely to hear it than those who said their diet was something like this. fair or poor.

Dr. Vijaya Surampudi is a nutritionist at the University of California, Los Angeles. She said MyPlate left out important details about the differences between oils and vegetables. And Nestle noted that MyPlate doesn’t show that vegetables, grains, and dairy foods also contain protein.

The new study recommends further research into why some groups are less likely to know and follow government guidance. He also noted that additional research is needed to figure out how best to reach people with malnutrition.

But the answer is not that simple, Surampudi suggested. People now know that they should eat more fruits and vegetables. Beyond that, the message becomes less clear.

“The minute it takes a little confusingpeople shut down,” he said.

I am Andrew Smith.

Jonel Aleccia wrote this story for the Associated Press. Andrew Smith adapted it for VOA Learning English.

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Words in This Story

Wonderful –adj. unable to walk or move legs and arms

fair –adj. neither good nor bad

confusing –adj. hard to understand

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