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MyPlate, MyWins series helps with healthy eating

Gurzzza/iStock/Thinkstock MyPlate food groups
Set of products for healthy food. Plate model. Nutrients. Vector illustration
New video series, landing page and resources designed to guide Americans toward healthier eating style.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy & Promotion (CNPP) launched a campaign to help Americans turn their New Year's resolutions into real solutions for healthy eating in 2017.

This campaign is supported by new and existing MyPlate, MyWins resources, available on ChooseMyPlate.gov, that are designed such that Americans can decide where to start on the journey to healthy eating.

"As Americans begin thinking about setting goals for the new year, MyPlate, MyWins is the place to start," said Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services. "With the new resources available on the MyPlate, MyWins webpages, Americans can set small, attainable, healthy eating solutions to incorporate into their lifestyle now and into the future."

Every January, Americans are overloaded with information about New Year's resolutions, USDA said. While starting with the best intentions, many people set unrealistic resolutions and incorporate goals that are difficult to maintain. Starting with small steps and celebrating milestones along the way are shown to be more beneficial strategies for keeping resolutions. This is where MyPlate, MyWins comes in — as a resource to help Americans turn resolutions into real solutions to achieve a healthy eating style, in alignment with the 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Real solutions are small, practical changes that add up to a healthy lifestyle over time, according to USDA. These changes can be incorporated into Americans' everyday life to maintain a healthy eating style based on the five food groups of MyPlate. MyPlate, MyWins encourages consumers to find and celebrate their wins and their real solutions, CNPP noted. Since everyone has different eating habits, MyPlate, MyWins helps individuals create their own personalized nutrition goals and solutions.

Animated video series

Over the course of five weeks as part of the New Year campaign, CNPP will release five MyPlate, MyWins animated videos to the new Make Small Changes webpage. These short videos demonstrate simple changes Americans can make to their typical meals to decrease levels of sodium, saturated fat and added sugars. Each video has a different theme, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and beverages.

"Making a small change — for example, switching from two slices of pepperoni pizza for lunch to one slice of veggie pizza, a salad and an apple — decreases sodium and saturated fat intake while adding items from other food groups," CNPP executive director Angie Tagtow said. "The videos demonstrate to Americans that small, healthy changes, or switches, during meal and snack times can add up over time and improve your eating style."

To supplement these videos, new meal-specific webpages offer nutrition information, more examples of small ways to improve typical meals and five new MyPlate, MyWins tip sheets. The tip sheets provide suggestions for making healthier choices in typical dining environments such as potlucks and parties, coffee shops, buffets, restaurants and takeout. All of these resources can help consumers utilize real solutions in their typical day to achieve nutrition goals and maintain a healthy eating style now and into the future.

SuperTracker challenge

On Jan. 2, 2017, SuperTracker will kick off a public New Year's Challenge that encourages participants to start slowly and develop a healthy eating style over time. Over five weeks, participants will be challenged to incorporate the five MyPlate food groups — fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy — into their diet each day. To officially join the challenge and receive encouraging messages along the way, individuals will need to create a free SuperTracker account.

The MyPlate, MyWins landing page has many additional resources to assist Americans in modifying their meals to maintain healthier eating habits throughout their lives. The Stories from Families & Individuals page includes videos from relatable families about their healthy eating solutions and testimonials from the MyPlate staff. Ways to get involved are suggested for partners, professionals and consumers. Additionally, CNPP encourages consumers to share their real solutions and wins via Twitter and Facebook using #MyPlateMyWins.

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