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News Release

Release No. 0298.11
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USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

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Over 2,000 Organizations Join Partnership to Support MyPlate Food Icon

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2011 – Today, the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) announced that the recently launched Nutrition Communicators Network has reached an important milestone of over 2,000 organizations. The network is comprised of organizations actively committed to promoting healthy eating in accordance with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as symbolized by MyPlate. Community partners range from public and private businesses to non-profit organizations that represent a diverse cross-section of stakeholders and partners. The launch of this partnership program coincided with the June 2, 2011, unveiling of the new MyPlate food icon.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the business community and organizations to get involved in a partnership that promotes healthy eating for our nation," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "By joining this effort, organizations send the message that they are ready to help all Americans lead healthier lives and to reverse childhood obesity. This broad-based support is a testament to the appeal of the new MyPlate food icon and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and affirmation of what we know - that a healthy nation starts with healthy people."

The appeal of the new MyPlate food icon has resulted in broad public support and engagement. The new Nutrition Communicators Network eclipsed the former CNPP MyPyramid Alliance that was comprised of approximately 250 organizations. Two categories of partnerships are now available, Community Partners and National Strategic Partners. Both partnership categories are committed to promoting and extending the nutrition messages and "how-tos" that support the MyPlate icon, based on the recommendations found in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Community Partners are typically smaller, local or regional, public and private businesses and non-profit organizations that represent a diverse cross-section of the public, including schools and school systems, hospitals, community nutrition programs, churches, libraries, dietitians, athletic centers, extension agencies, and Head Start programs.

National Strategic Partners are large corporate and non-profit organizations. Among them are Weight Watchers, General Electric, WebMD, American Dietetic Association, American Society for Nutrition, Produce for Better Health Foundation, Food Marketing Institute, American Diabetes Association, and the Institute of Food Technologists. A list of current partners can be viewed from the following link: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/Partnerships/index.aspx.

Between September 2011 and December 2013, CNPP will lead a coordinated, multi-year, multi-modal, messaging approach among public and private sector partners to help USDA amplify the consumer themes and nutrition messages outlined in the Dietary Guidelines. Resources, such as "how-tos," supporting messages, and educational materials, will be provided to support each message at www.chooseMyPlate.gov. Communication themes include: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables, Foods to Increase, Foods to Reduce, Balancing Calories, and Be Active Your Way.

The MyPlate food icon and its accompanying messages reflect the recommendations found in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in January of this year. The Dietary Guidelines focus on balancing calories with physical activity. The Guidelines encourage Americans to consume more nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower Americans to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children. Later this year, USDA will unveil an exciting "go-to" online tool that consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical activity choices.

Over the next several years, USDA will work with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let'sMove! initiative and public and private partners to promote MyPlate and ChooseMyPlate.gov as well as the supporting nutrition messages and "how-to" resources.

If you are interested in learning more or joining the Nutrition Communicators Network, go to www.chooseMyPlate.gov/Partnerships. Partners are committed to leveraging their own resources to publicize and promote the MyPlate icon and the nutrition messages in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Partners can make it easier for consumers to follow the Dietary Guidelines by working collaboratively with their fellow partners and USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

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