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The Food Guide Pyramid has a New Look!

April 19, 2005

Eating grain foods
still a big part of healthy living


Washington, DC – April 19, 2005 – Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced today that MyPyramid is the new symbol for the U.S. Food Guidance System (better known as the Dietary Guidelines). MyPyramid is an altered version of the Food Guide Pyramid we are all so familiar with. Gone are the food-depicted segments and in are vertical bands of color. Grain foods are represented by the color orange. Grain foods are the largest part of the pyramid, followed by vegetables and milk products.

Why are grains important to healthy living? Grain foods provide you energy. Grain foods help you maintain your weight. Certain grain foods can help reduce your cholesterol levels. They may also help prevent certain cancers, heart disease, and birth defects.

In comments submitted to USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) August 2004, NAMA (North American Millers’ Association) recommended retaining the pyramid shape as the Dietary Guidelines symbol because it is so widely recognized but expressed concern that few Americans actually follow the guidelines. We recommended emphasizing exercise by adding a slogan.

While CNPP kept the universally recognized symbol for the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, it also acknowledged few Americans follow the guidelines. The new pyramid entices Americans to visit the MyPyramid.gov web site to develop a personalized eating and exercise program. From the name of the symbol, to the slogan and the graphic itself, the new symbol encourages Americans to pay closer attention to their eating and exercise habits. NAMA endorses the new symbol whole-heartedly.

The “My” in MyPyramid gives each of us ownership and responsibility to make the right choices for our unique lifestyle. The slogan, “Steps to a Healthier You,” emphasizes exercise and gradual improvements. The pyramid is a shape we all know represents healthy living. The addition of steps and a figure climbing the steps promotes exercise and will remind us that exercise is a key component of healthy living.

For more information on why grains are an important part of healthy living, visit the NAMA, Grain Foods Foundation, Wheat Foods Council web sites. Be sure to visit MyPyramid.gov. NAMA has 48 member companies operating 170 wheat, corn, oat and rye mills in 38 states, 150 cities and Canada.


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