|Reviewers Comments: ||MyPyramid: Eating Better Makes Sense provides viewers with a comprehensive, yet easy to understand explanation of MyPyramid and the healthy lifestyle lessons that it encourages. The production quality is high and this DVD is engaging and informative. Broken into 7 segments, the DVD could be used as a complete lesson in one setting, or segments of the video could be used to supplement a lesson or curriculum on an individual topic or food group. This is particularly feasible, as each section features a demonstration and reminder of the importance of proper hand washing, a physical activity tip and a comment on food safety, making each segment powerful as a stand-alone resource. All three themes are repeated throughout the video providing a wealth of complementary nutrition education messages.|
Sound quality is good, background music is upbeat, but does seem to grow a bit repetitive if watching the entire video in one setting. Maria’s voice is clear in terms of production quality, and for purposes of this review, she was easy to understand. It should be noted however that she does have a fairly thick Spanish accent (in the English Language version) which could be difficult to understand for some viewers, particularly among audiences who do not have English or Spanish as their primary languages.
After the initial introductory segment, in which the basic construction and purposes of MyPyramid are discussed, Maria guides the audience through a tour of the supermarket and of her kitchen, highlighting a different group from MyPyramid in each video segment. Though she repeatedly refers to “my family and I,” and conveys the role of a mother, the lessons covered would be appropriate for a wide variety of audiences not limited to parents.
As this video was filmed in a real grocery store, in her trip to through the supermarket, brand names of certain foods are shown, but there is no clear bias toward any brands in particular, and the end of the DVD features a disclaimer explaining that no product placements were intentionally made.
Maria demonstrates how to make economical and healthy choices from each food group; she shows viewers how to look for “whole grains” in the ingredient list for breads and cereals, how to gradually reduce fat content in dairy foods, and how to add other non-dairy sources of calcium into the diet. Such recommendations include calcium fortified orange juice, almonds and calcium containing vegetables, but exclude any mention of calcium fortified soy products. In this segment, Maria also purchases shredded cheese, which tends to be a higher cost item. Maria continues through the store, explaining how to make lean choices from the meat group, discussing the benefits of buying produce in-season and explaining the different types of fats and oils, and how to make healthier choices from these groups.
Each segment incorporate appropriate food safety tips such as hand-washing (featured in each segment), avoiding cross contamination, washing fruits and vegetables and proper storage of foods in the refrigerator. In depicting the process of choosing healthy foods from each section of MyPyramid, the video shows images of some foods with large red “X’s through them as examples of goods to avoid, which tends to reinforce the idea of “good foods” vs “bad foods,” but this does not become a theme or concept throughout the rest of the video.
Physical activity tips are accessible and easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. They include the common tips such as parking further away in the parking lot to increase walking, engaging in household chores, but also recommend mall-walking and lifting light bottles of water during down-time at home to increase fitness. Many images of families playing and exercising together are included throughout the video to reinforce activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. While the majority of images depicted safe behaviors, there was one image of a young boy riding a bike without a helmet, and another of a child rollerblading without a helmet. An educator could use this as an opportunity to discuss safety in physical activity, especially in states where helmet used is required by law.
MyPyramid: Eating Better Makes Sense doesn’t miss an opportunity to share health and nutrition education messages that are appropriate for a limited-resource audience or anyone interested in learning more about healthy, economical food choices and incorporating MyPyramid into their lifestyles.