Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Food Guide Pyramid Toppled

Rather quietly it seems, the USDA recently changed the pyramid format for nutrition in the U.S. to a plate.  When I typed in the old URL,, it redirected to  While many have issues with components of the recommendations, it is indeed a decent foundation in which to start understanding proper nutrition.  Personally, the plate idea isn't a bad visual, and is hopefully better to understand. Sadly, while it has recommendations for the general public, pregnant moms, and kids, it does not include athletes specifically as a sub-group.  It does ask for daily activity levels though, which is nice.  As with other topics, there are no absolutes, and information should be taken with a grain of salt.  My advice to all students and ATC's is to go to the website, enter your personal data (height, weight, age, sex) and check out what it has to say.  Like a said it's a good starting point.  Having used this site in courses in the past, at first glance and with an hour or so of playing around with the site, it does seem a bit more user friendly than the older version. 
The reason I post this is twofold; one, the NATA released a new position statement on weight loss last week in New Orleans, which I will review in my next post.  Two, we as professionals are bound to have at least a basic knowledge of nutrition, and this is a good place to start figuring it out for yourself.  How many of you have heard athlete's ask "What should I be eating?"  I for one have found it best to give broad advice, but there is no substitute for a registered dietician or nutritionist.  Their knowledge base, in my experience, has been astounding and incredibly educational.  If you get a chance, look up a local one in your area and have an assessment done.  Money well spent in my opinion. 

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