SAN DIEGO, Calif. – April 20, 2005 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently introduced the newly renovated Food Guidance System entitled “MyPyramid”. The updated system includes a new symbol and a variety of food guide pyramids designed to fit the unique dietary and physical activity needs of every American. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s nonprofit fitness authority, supports the creation of personalized food guide pyramids in an effort to encourage Americans to lead healthier lives through balanced diet and exercise.
“The new food guide pyramid should help consumers have an easier time building healthier diets,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for ACE. “It supports what ACE has been encouraging Americans to do since our inception – eat a variety of healthful, nutritious foods and find a proper balance between diet and exercise. In the long run, this balance will produce positive, lasting results including weight loss, improved fitness and a reduced risk of various chronic diseases and a number of other physical ailments.”
The Agriculture Department’s “Steps to a Healthier You” campaign provides interactive Web pages where Americans can insert their current exercise and eating habits to find the right pyramid for them. www.mypyramid.gov provides 12 different pyramids adjusted to various lifestyle needs as well as necessary information and tools to help Americans follow through on the new food guidance system.
The updated Food Guidance System is based on recommendations outlined in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines released early January 2005 that ACE continues to support. Recommendations such as the following:
- To manage body weight and prevent unnecessary weight gain, engage in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on most days of the week
- Consume a sufficient amount of food groups including: four and a half cups of fruit and vegetables, three or more ounces of whole-grain products, five and a half ounces of lean meat or beans and three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk (or similar dairy products) per day
- Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories
- Consume whole foods rather than processed options (e.g., fresh fruit instead of juice)
- Choose or prepare foods with little added sugar and salt
“The additional illustration of a person climbing stairs on the ‘MyPyramid’ symbol helps reinforce the important and necessary role exercise plays in leading an overall healthier lifestyle,” said Bryant.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.