A food and nutrition organization in Argentina, the Consejo para la Información sobre la Seguridad de los Alimentos y Nutrición, CISAN (Council For Food Safety And Nutrition Information) just launched a new website. Its mision is to provide cientific information about food safety to health care providers, communicators and consumers.
The public demands more and more reliable information about the quality and safety of the foods we consume. CISAN is one of the organizations aimed to provide this kind of information and to promote a balanced safe diet. Besides, CISAN incorporated three prestigious Argentinean institutions like the Argentinean Nutrition Foundation (Fundación Argentina de Nutrición), ILSI Argentina (International Life Sciences Institute) and the Argentinean Council for Biotechnology Information and Development Argenbio (Consejo Argentino para la Información y el Desarrollo de la Biotecnología, ArgenBio).
It is essential for Argentina – as an important World food producer, mainly cereals, soy and beef (which are the 54% of the argentinean exportations)- to have an institution like CISAN that can provide useful resources about food safety. It also provides material from ILSI and from the European Food Information Council. Argentina faces similar challenges than the USA and other big food producer countries, in terms of adoption of new technologies and the role that these modern production foods play in our health. Do you have questions about transgenic? What do you know about Argentinean Soy? Or about the safety of plastic bottles? You will find this kind of info here: www.CISAN.org.ar
If you haven’t heard, last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched the new graphic for the dietary American guidelines that replaces the food pyramid. Even the website “mypyramid.gov” is now redirected to “choosemyplate.gov”.
MyPlate icon is simple, clear and will be useful to guide people at the time of serving their food. It is a plate split into four sections, each representing a different food group: “protein”, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A circle shape next to the plate represents dairy products (milk). If you are online, by clicking on each section of the plate you will get more information about each food group.
I think it is more user friendly than the pyramid, but the pyramid was more comprehensive. “Time will tell if this new icon helps people to better understand vital nutritional messages of balance, variety, moderation and adequacy,” said registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association President Sylvia A. Escott-Stump.
I agree with some colleagues with the fact that there are many flaws in the new design. For example, protein is a nutrient and not a food, fats are not included, physical activity is not represented; the plate is completely full with no white spaces (a big portion?), etc. But, I also acknowledge that is hard to find the perfect design.
In Argentina, we use the Argentinean dietary guidelines (Guias Alimentarias para la Poblacion Argentina) that were developed by local dietitians. A graphic represents all the food groups, which are classified according to their nutrient content and a faucet highlights the importance of water. These guidelines also provide key nutrition messages for the Argentinean population.
t’s also true that no matter how well designed is the icon; if it is not combined with other nutrition education efforts it will hardly be successful.
What you think about these two tools?
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