Whenever I hear “USDA,” I automatically think of steak. Does that happen to anyone else? Well, if you’re like me, you should remind yourself that the USDA is not just a grader of meat; it is an executive department of the U.S. government! This department is responsible for developing and regulating federal policy on farming, agriculture, and food. With healthcare concerns at the forefront of our minds and an obesity epidemic on the rise, they’ve got their work cut out for them. So what are they doing to keep these issues in check? I’m glad you asked.
The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion was established, under of the Department of Agriculture, to focus solely on improving the nutrition and well-being of our nation’s people. The organization’s main objectives have been to:
- Advance and promote dietary guidance to all Americans
- Apply sound research and analysis toward assessing the nutritional needs of the public
Before the creation of this agency, consumers were subjected to conflicting, and many times inaccurate, nutritional messages. Fortunately, with the American public becoming increasingly educated about the importance of diet, the call for regulated information was answered.
One of the initiatives administered by the CNPP was updating the Food Guide Pyramid of the ’90s. This outdated model was replaced by the MyPyramid Food Guidance System, which personalizes nutritional recommendations into the appropriate combination of food groups, on an individual basis. The new system also acknowledges the importance of physical activity, variety, moderation, and proper proportions, incorporated into a healthy diet.
In the summer of 2008, MyPyramid Alliance was launched. Since it’s inception, the program has partnered with over 200 corporations and non-profits to make a positive difference in the health of America. Partners include Goliaths, General Mills and Kraft, national organizations such as Girl Scouts of America and YMCA, and lesser-knowns like H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending and ‘nPLAY who are committed to fighting childhood obesity and improving our nation’s standards of nutrition.
Partnering with MyPyramid Alliance provides opportunities to promote messages of health and nutrition, combat childhood obesity, and educate communities about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Check out what it takes to become a partner, and support the companies and organizations who are already involved!