Tools and Resources
The USDA created ChooseMyPlate.gov to assist Americans in living healthier lives. This site is packed full of information and tools for ages 2 years and older. They provide videos, games, sample menus, recipes and much more. Be sure to check out these useful pages:
Not all of these tools are appropriate for those with a physical disability. For example, BMI classifications for individuals with a spinal cord injury differ from the general population. A study published in 2009 by Laughton et al suggests that more appropriate classifications of overweight and obesity are BMIs of 22 to 24.9 kg/m² and ≥25 kg/m², respectively. These BMI ranges have been designed to take into account the lower muscle and bone mass, as well as the higher percent body fat that is present in those with a spinal cord injury. The SuperTracker tool is also designed for the general population. If you have a condition that affects your mobility or suppresses your metabolism, this tool will overestimate calorie needs. However, the SuperTracker can still be used to record the amount of calories consumed each day from foods and beverages. This could be helpful when trying to gain, lose, or maintain weight.
ChooseMyPlate.gov has also created a campus toolkit for college students who are interested in becoming a MyPlate On Campus Ambassador. This resource provides students with the ability to promote healthy diet and physical activity behaviors on their college campus. Check out the 10 Tips for Healthy Eating in the Dining Hall, which is part of an extensive range of MyPlate On Campus materials that have been specifically designed for college and university students.
- Dietary Guidelines Consumer Brochure. United States Department of Agriculture, 2014.
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/print-materials-ordering/dietary-guidelines.html. Accessed February 20, 2014.
- Executive Summary. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/ExecSumm.pdf. Accessed February 20, 2014.
- Laughton GE, Buchholz AC, Martin Ginis KA, Goy RE. Lowering body mass index cutoffs better identifies obese persons with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord 2009; 47: 757–762.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010. http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf. Accessed February 20, 2014.