Although the newly released MyPlate icon is a great tool for many, it’s not specific for any single population. For individuals who are looking for more in depth and culturally specific food recommendations, useful tools similar to the MyPlate icon are becoming available.
The most recent addition is the New African Heritage Diet Pyramid. The pyramid better resembles the traditional food pyramid that has recently been replaced by the plate, but no matter its appearance, it’s a helpful tool to better plan a well-balanced diet.
Individuals of African American decent may find this pyramid particularly useful. As diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are not true components of African American heritage, Oldways and a team of experts have developed this new pyramid to appropriately identify ways to incorporate foods from traditional diets of the African Dispora in a way that promotes nutritious eating and healthy living.
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A new study is suggesting recent state policies that eliminate junk food from school concessions has been successful, but more so with black students.
Daily soda consumption has dropped twice as much with black students. Overall consumption of soda in the states with junk food bans has dropped by an average of .09 servings of soda each day. However, among black students is dropped .19 servings per day.
“Soda is widely considered to be a contributor to the increase in obesity because it has been associated with excess energy intake and weight gain” wrote the study’s authors. “It became a larger source of energy intake among adolescents during the same period that obesity prevalence increased.”
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In the past, I’ve talked about how food marketers play a large role in how we and our kids are getting heavier by the day. Now there may be evidence that African Americans are specifically targeted, and suffering the consequences.
According to an article in the American Journal of Public Health, which examined marketing and advertising studies conducted between 1992 and 2006, there is a disparity between how food is marketed to blacks and whites.
Unfortunately, this piece on the subject over at Advertising Age doesn’t really give a convincing argument. The one piece of evidence plays into the concerns that are being addressed in Los Angeles: that in some black neighborhoods, it’s easier to find a fast-food restaurant than it is a grocery store.
While there are a number of factors, including economic and cultural, that contribute to the dilemma, head researcher Sonya Grier emphasized that marketers have gone to great lengths to change their positioning for different demographics.