Harvard School of Public Health Creates Nutrition Guide
Harvard school of public health creates nutrition guide
Researchers from the School of Public Health and Harvard Health Publications released on Wednesday the Healthy Eating Plate, a new visual guide for creating nutritious meals. The nutrition guide was created as an alternative to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s My Plate, which replaced the food diagram pyramid earlier this year.
“The intent [with Healthy Eating Plate] is to make an eating guide based on the best available scientific evidence and to provide consumers with the information that they need to make choices that can profoundly affect their health and well-being,” Walter C. Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH, said during a press conference.
According to Willett, the U.S. government’s My Plate is a conglomerate of both scientific evidence and powerful influences from agricultural stakeholders, leading to the creation of a “useless” eating guide that fails to provide adequate information for making healthy food choices.
Although the Healthy Eating Plate follows the same general image of My Plate—a representation of a plate sectioned into colorful food portions—it expands upon the USDA’s recommendations.
The Healthy Eating Plate specifies that consumers should stick to whole grains instead of refined grains, eat healthy proteins such as fish or poultry rather than red or processed meats, and distinguish between healthy vegetables and potatoes.
The Healthy Eating Plate also includes a glass of water and healthy oils in its ideal meal, advising consumers to avoid butter and trans fat.
“We want people to use this as a model for their own healthy plate or that of their children every time they sit down to a meal—either at home or at a restaurant,” HSPH Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Eric B. Rimm said in a press release.
In addition to providing more details regarding food choices, the Healthy Eating Plate also attempts to balance text and imagery in an effort to make the icon universally understood, according to Willett.
“I think the information, the text, is pretty simple, pretty much everyone can understand that,” Willett said. “That’s the information that is really critical—whether something is going to be healthy or not.”
Source:The Harvard Crimson
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