|Reviewers Comments: ||Personalizing MyPlate is a high quality video that explains the main principles of MyPlate in a clear and complete manner. Following two initial segments, there are four personal vignettes that demonstrate how MyPlate can be incorporated into a healthy eating plan. These individual examples concentrate on several important concepts, including the hazards of eating out, snacking throughout the day, focusing on one nutrient, and relying too heavily on processed foods. An emphasis is made on making positive, healthy and realistic changes that can fit within one’s lifestyle.
The six segments of the video could easily be used as a part of full lesson and viewed in one sitting or divided into smaller individual lessons. A number of important topics are touched on, including nutrient density, types of fats, label reading, portion control, the importance of whole grains, and the connection between sodium and hypertension. Because these additional segments move quickly through these topics and none are described in detail, it is recommended that an educator take additional time to review them with participants.
A free educator’s resource guide is available (see link below) and it is a wonderful accompaniment tool. The guide includes prompts for having a discussion before and after the video, separate quizzes for viewers during the video to keep them engaged and after the video for assessment purposes, handouts, and a glossary of key words and phrases. This guide makes planning a nutrition education session around the video easy for the educator.
The production quality, sound, and videography are of professional quality. The visuals are attractive; the food pictured is vibrant and appealing. Captioning is available. There is no obvious product placement.
In the opening segment, the video briefly mentions the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and states that “the USDA is responsible for monitoring and improving the public’s health. Every five years it publishes the Dietary Guidelines meant for all Americans”. The video also refers to the Dietary Guidelines as the “USDA guidelines,” which is incorrect. While the nutrition information in the video is accurate overall, it is important to note that the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly publish the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. . Besides the MyPlate Web site, there are no other references available for the health statistics and scientific information presented throughout the video.
When using this video, educators should be aware that diets presented are intended to represent typical American foods and do not include ethnic or cultural foods. In addition, while the kitchen that is used in each of the four personal example stories is quite contemporary, it may not be representative of those of low income families. Finally, the actors are not ethnically diverse, and do not include older children, teenagers or older adults.