WASHINGTON, March 1, 2012 –Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that nearly 6,000 USDA partners are teaming to deem March 8, 2012 as "What's on My Plate?" day to heighten public awareness of the importance of choosing nutritious foods for a healthy meal. The effort is supported by almost 6,000 of USDA's MyPlate Community and National Strategic Partners all of which are committed to promoting a diet that reflects the latest recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and highlights the message behind the new MyPlate food icon.
"USDA is committed to helping Americans make healthier food choices and our MyPlate symbol is a simple reminder to think before we eat," said Vilsack. "Our public and private sector national partners represent an important cross-section of industry, advocates and academia pulling toward a common goal of improving the health our country through diet and in many cases reversing childhood obesity."
The goal of "What's on My Plate?" day is to create a nationwide buzz about food choices on March 8 as part of national Nutrition Month activities. By leveraging the strengths of social networks such as blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, to promote MyPlate and its related messages and resources like the new SuperTracker and the ChooseMyPlate.gov website, these resources empower consumers with the how-tos to build healthier plates. A key goal is to encourage Partners and their constituents to take action on the quarterly message, "Enjoy your food, but eat less," and tell their stories, and share photographs of personal successes. The public can post pictures of their plates on Twitter using the #MyPlate hashtag or on Flickr. "Partners along with the general public can use the hashtag #MyPlateYourPlate to tie into this social media event."
As part of this effort, USDA urges consumers to put MyPlate into action by taking a photo of their healthful plates to share on Twitter with the hash-tag #MyPlate. USDA also wants to see where and when consumers think about healthy eating. Take the plate and snap a photograph with MyPlate to share with our USDA Flickr Photo Group [ http://www.flickr.com/groups/choosemyplate/].
Administered by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), the Nutrition Communicators Network provides an opportunity for different communities and different organizations to join together in helping promote the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A calendar for upcoming messages and a schedule of rollouts is available at ChooseMyPlate.gov by clicking on Partners.
The majority of the partnerships are in the Community Partner category. Community Partners can commit to any level of involvement from developing an outreach program for their community to posting a link to the ChooseMyPlate.gov website to incorporating Federal nutrition content in a communication product. Community Partners include but are not limited to dietitians, educators, community programs, doctors, schools, and authors.
National Strategic Partners consist of companies and organizations that are national in scope and fulfill the following requirements: They must have a health mandate consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and will promote nutrition in the context of the entirety of the Guidelines. They will disseminate Dietary Guidelines messages, and will participate with CNPP to develop joint nutrition promotion plan annually. Examples of National Strategic Partners include large, national organizations such as healthcare corporations, media outlets, grocery retailers, health professional associations, restaurant chains, and food manufacturers.
Those interested in signing up as a Community or National Strategic Partner or viewing a list of current members can click on Partners at ChooseMyPlate.gov or follow us on Twitter.
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