Natural Foods Merchandiser

USDA Seeks Public Comment on Food Pyramid

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is soliciting comments until Aug. 27 on how best to revise the Food Guide Pyramid, the agency's primary tool for communicating nutritional advice.

In use since 1992, the pyramid graphic is familiar to about 80 percent of Americans, according to USDA research. But its effectiveness has long been questioned, with critics pointing to the nation's obesity epidemic as evidence. "We are seeking public input on how best to present the most current nutritional science in a form that assists the public in personalizing the information so they can make healthier choices," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman.

The first two phases of revamping the Dietary Guidelines for Americans—collecting the latest nutritional research and updating the agencies guidelines accordingly—have been completed, the agency is now seeking written comment on what shape the graphic should take and how best to assist consumers in personalizing the information.

Details about the USDA's request are available at Written comments can be mailed to: Food Guide Pyramid Reassessment Team, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1034, Alexandria, VA 22302. No electronic submissions will be accepted. Also, a public stakeholder meeting is scheduled for Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C. E-mail requests to participate to [email protected] by 5 p.m. Aug. 12.

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