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USDA launches nutrition SuperTracker

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Just in time to help Americans keep their New Year's resolutions by making healthy food and physical activity choices, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released USDA's new nutrition SuperTracker. The SuperTracker is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art resource available at ChooseMyPlate.gov designed to assist individuals as they make changes in their life to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. Release of this new web tool comes as USDA highlights the second in a series of themed consumer messages supporting the MyPlate icon--Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less--that USDA is promoting the next three months in conjunction with more than 5,000 organizations participating in the MyPlate Nutrition Communicators Network.

"Overcoming the health and nutrition challenges we face as a nation is critical and the SuperTracker provides consumers with an assortment of tools to do just that," said Vilsack. "This easy-to-use website will help Americans at all stages of life improve their overall health and well-being as they input dietary and physical activity choices into the tool. During the holiday season we are surrounded by good food and this is a perfect time to Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less."

The SuperTracker is a visually appealing, comprehensive, state-of-the-art resource available at ChooseMyPlate.gov. It is designed to assist individuals as they make changes in their life to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. Consumers can access this free, on-line tool at anytime and can choose a variety of features to support nutrition and physical activity goals. SuperTracker offers consumers the ability to:

--Personalize recommendations for what and how much to eat and amount of physical activity;

--Track foods and physical activity from an expanded database of foods and physical activities;

--Customize features such as goal setting, virtual coaching, weight tracking and journaling;

--Measure progress with comprehensive reports ranging from a simple meal summary to in-depth analysis of food groups and nutrient intake over time;

--Operationalize the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines; and

--Support family and friends by adding their individual profiles.

The SuperTracker complements First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative and provides practical information to help individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and consumers build healthier diets. As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools available at ChooseMyPlate.gov can empower people to make healthier food and physical activity choices for themselves, their families, and their children.

Additional new consumer messages in the months to come will include Drink Water Instead of Sugary Drinks; Make at Least Half Your Grains Whole Grains; and Avoid Oversized Portions. USDA and its MyPlate Nutrition Communicators Network partners will find innovative ways to deliver the easy-to-adopt how-tos for these messages to empower consumers to make healthier food choices.

Originally identified in the Child Obesity Task Force report, which noted that simple, actionable advice for consumers is needed, MyPlate replaced the MyPyramid image as the government's primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.



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