October 2004


Joe and I live in a small Texas town. Local sports are very important in our community, especially high school football. The Friday night game is the social event of the week. We usually attend the games to support the Roscoe Plowboys. Halftime is a favorite of mine. I was once a band member and I love watching the band perform. Halftime is more than just a “break” for the players or a time for the bands to perform. The players and coaches evaluate the facts and statistics of the first half and make appropriate changes to improve their team’s performance.

This analogy of a football halftime is very similar to what has been going on for two years with a panel of 13 professionals. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee was appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services and Agriculture (USDA). During these two years, the committee has systematically reviewed scientific literature. They have just recently submitted their report, which will serve as the basis for the sixth edition of Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans to be published in January 2005.

I found this quote from the report very interesting. It states “During the deliberations, an overall theme for our report emerged. Collectively, available scientific data show that Americans need to select a quality diet, while staying within their calorie requirements to achieve optimum health. Because of sedentary lifestyles and poor food choices, many Americans exceed their caloric needs without meeting their nutrient requirements. This not only causes obesity and related diseases, but it also leads to malnutrition. Specific recommendations are provided within the report to improve diet quality without exceeding caloric needs. Major changes in the food habits and lifestyles of Americans are requited to achieve this goal.” Praise the Lord! The First Place Live-It also does this.

I have heard from many First Place members and leaders wondering if the changes to the USDA Pyramid will change our Live-It Plan. I have assured each that I believe the changes would only serve to reinforce our First Place Live-It as the best choice for anyone. After glancing at many parts of this report, I am convinced of that. I believe if this committee was to review all the weight loss plans available, they would declare the First Place Live-It as a great plan to choose. I believe there are some great points that we can emphasize even more in First Place, such as whole grain products. Adults will be asked to choose three (3) milk servings each day. This will be an easy adjustment since cheese is also considered a milk exchange. We already have that option built in our food choices.

I will continue next month in the First Place Enewsletter to go over the major conclusions this committee has drawn that can help each of us in First Place reach our weight loss goals, and even more important, good health to serve God longer and better.

If you would like to review this report yourself, you can find it at www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/report .

May God bless you and your family reunion this summer.

Kay Smith
First Place Associate Director

Kay is the associate national director of First Place and has been on the First Place staff since 1987.

Kay is a popular speaker at retreats, seminars, Conferences, FOCUS Weeks and Workshops across the country. Kay is the First Place food exchange expert and writes a monthly article in the First Place E-Newsletter on nutrition. She also was a contributing writer to the Today Is the First Day devotional book. Her delightful personality and love for people endears her to everyone she meets, and they quickly become her new best friend.

Kay and her husband, Joe, live in Roscoe, TX. They have two children and five grandchildren. Two of the young grandchildren are making a name for themselves on the golf circuit. Two of the young grandchildren are making a name for themselves on the golf circuit, and the three oldest grandsons are all involved in numerous sporting events, which Kay and Joe attend as often as possible.