Need a little help keeping track of your calorie intake? The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) SuperTracker may be just the ticket.
According to Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, the tool has added a new feature that allows users to set personal calorie goals based on targets prescribed by their nutritionists, dietitians and health care providers.
"With one in three Americans overweight or obese, resources like SuperTracker play a critical role in helping people to develop good health and nutrition habits," said Concannon. "This update allows individuals to set goals tailored to their specific needs and improve their overall health and well-being."
Built and maintained by USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), SuperTracker is free to use and available at ChooseMyPlate.gov. As originally designed, SuperTracker assigned users a calorie level based on information entered in their user profile such as age, height, weight, and physical activity level.
The new feature allows users to tailor their diet and exercise regimens to fit calorie target recommendations made by their physician. To access the new personal calorie goal feature, go to SuperTracker and click on My Features (My Top 5 Goals).
SuperTracker is also one of ten government projects receiving the 2012 Government Computer News (GCN) Award for IT Achievement, which recognizes government agencies that show creativity and ingenuity in connecting citizens with the government through technology tools. Earlier this month, SuperTracker reached over one million registered users.
"Within the Federal sector of providing online services to the public, this award is the equivalent of winning an Oscar or a Grammy," said Concannon. "We are extraordinarily proud of the work done by the staff at USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and their commitment to improving the health of Americans."
To help families make healthier food choices, USDA released MyPlate, a new generation food icon acclaimed as a simple, powerful visual cue to promote healthier eating at mealtimes. It is supported by tools and resources at the ChooseMyPlate.gov, and is available for Spanish-language speakers as MiPlato. Over 6,400 community partners have joined together with USDA in helping promote MyPlate in communities across the country.
SuperTracker was unveiled in December 2011 as a complement to the MyPlate nutrition guidance initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative.
SuperTracker is a free online tool that incorporates both the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines to help Americans make and assess daily healthy food and lifestyle choices.