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Get-Your-Plate-in-Shape-300x2231March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape.” The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage an increased focus on fruits and vegetables and an understanding of proper portion sizes. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) helps consumers understand how to implement these suggestions into their daily. Each March, the Academy encourages Americans to return to the basics of healthy eating. This year’s National Nutrition Month theme encourages consumers to ensure they are eating the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy each day.

“The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is committed to improving the nutritional health of consumers by translating sound, science- and evidence-based research into messages they can understand and apply to their everyday lives,” said registered dietitian and Academy President Sylvia Escott-Stump.

“Each year, National Nutrition Month provides us the opportunity to remind consumers of the basics of healthy eating. By focusing this year’s theme on the new MyPlate, we can help people make the simple changes to their daily eating plans that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

Initiated in 1973 as a week-long event, “National Nutrition Week” became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition. To commemorate the dedication of registered dietitians as the leading advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world, the second Wednesday of each March is celebrated as “Registered Dietitian Day.” This year marks the fifth annual Registered Dietitian Day.

Launched in June 2011, USDA’s MyPlate replaced MyPyramid as the government’s primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Dividing the plate into four sections: fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, as well as a glass representing dairy products, it shows consumers how they can incorporate the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines into every meal.

As part of this public education campaign, the Academy’s National Nutrition Month website ( includes helpful tips, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition around the “Get Your Plate in Shape” theme.