Nutritionist discusses new food pyramid

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    A nutritionist visited TCU Thursday and compared America’s health status to global warming: The problem does not seem dangerous at the moment, but our country is slowly eating its way to destruction, she said.Nutritionist Shannon Jones of the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited TCU from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and spoke at 6 p.m. in the Student Center. Jones came to TCU to introduce the new food pyramid, MyPyramid.gov.

    The food pyramid and Web site were launched in April 2005. The differences between the new pyramid and the old, constructed in 1992, are added exercise components and color bands to represent each food group rather than the former blocks.

    The pyramid was constructed with the idea that one size does not fit all, so it can be customized to each individual.

    The pyramid Web site is interactive and allows users to customize the food guide according to age, sex and physical activity level.

    The customized plans explain how much a person should eat and exercise daily. Jones walked students through the guide and explained portion sizes.

    Many students were surprised at the seemingly small sizes of the portions.

    “I couldn’t believe how small some of the portions were and also the fat content,” said Lauren Gervais, a sophomore psychology major. “It was just gross to see test tubes of the fat that’s in foods.”

    Stephanie Dickerson, Sodexho’s nutrition counselor on campus, attended the talk and said she was glad to see professionals coming to visit the campus to promote health. She said TCU students have many healthy options on campus that go along with MyPyramid.gov.

    “We have everything from Eden’s that offers salads to Grill 155 degrees that offers fruit cups instead of fries and bottled water or fat-free milk instead of soda,” Dickerson said. “Basically, we try to promote balance. Health is about healthy food choices, moderation and portion control. We want to see students exercising and eating balanced meals, and we really try to accommodate that.”

    Jones said healthy living includes balance and commitment.

    “You work hard to make good grades in college, and you work hard to get a great profession,” Jones said. “You don’t just land a great job out of thin air. You commit to those things. Being healthy is the same way: You eat healthy and stay physically active – it will happen.