The US Department of Agriculture has launched the Spanish-language version of its food pyramid MyPyramid.gov.

MiPirámide: Pasos Hacia Una Mejor Salud, translated, "MyPyramid: Steps to a Healthier You," was unveiled in Miami, by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administrator Roberto Salazar and several partner organizations committed to promoting the nutrition and exercise guidance in MiPirámide within the Latino community.

"We recognize the importance of working with minority communities to provide informative tools that help them to make healthy choices," said agriculture secretary Mike Johanns. "Eating a nutritious diet, being physically active every day and getting preventative health screenings can help many Americans, including Latinos, to improve their health."

"Given the rising obesity levels among children, some researchers are concerned that we could actually be raising the first generation of children who won't live as long as their parents," said Salazar. Salazar also hailed the new website, pointing to the ominous implications of rising obesity rates among young Latinos, as well as other young Americans.

The new website will be a valuable new tool for the Latino community, which has a higher-than-average rate of overweight and obesity. According to researchers, nearly three out of four Latino adults and one out of four Latin children is overweight or obese. The rate of Type 2 diabetes, which has been linked to overweight, is roughly twice as high among Latinos compared with the general population.

MiPirámide will make it easier for Spanish-speaking Americans to find nutrition information vital to good health, he said, and personalize that information to their own lifestyle. Since it was unveiled in April, the English-language version of MyPyramid has become one of the most widely visited government websites, with more than 1.1 billion hits.

MiPirámide incorporates recommendations from the 2005 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published jointly every five years by the Department of Health and Human Services and USDA. The guidelines provide science-based advice to promote health and to reduce the risk for major chronic diseases through diet and physical activity.