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Interactive Website Will Help Assess and Improve Your Diet

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an Interactive Healthy Eating Index, a new on-line dietary assessment tool that provides a quick measure of a person's diet quality.

"Obesity in America is at almost epidemic proportions," Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said. "This user friendly website can help consumers carefully examine their own dietary habits and receive encouragement to improve diets."

Designed for use by the general public and nutrition professionals, the IHEI shows Internet users how well they are meeting current dietary guidance. The index is based on 10 aspects of a healthy diet for persons 2 years of age and older, as defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA's Food Guide Pyramid.

Consumers can analyze their dietary status and maintain a cumulative record so improvements in their diet can be observed. Nutrition messages targeted to the user's score provide helpful information on diet and health with links to websites for those individuals with specific health concerns.

"While not a substitute for advice from a nutrition or health professional," said Shirley Watkins, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, "the Interactive Healthy Eating Index is a first step consumers can take to receive science based guidance on healthful diets."

For More Information

Media Contact: Mary Beth Schultheis, (202) 720-4623

Public Contact: John S. Webster, (202) 418-2312