NEW YORK — The National Pasta Association has launched “Pasta Fits,” its 2011 communications program that will educate consumers about enjoying pasta as part of a nutritious diet and will focus on the importance of carbohydrates as part of a balanced and healthy diet.

“Americans love pasta, but fad diets and misinformation have led to consumer confusion,” said Peter Smith, chairman of the N.P.A. and chief executive officer of Ebro North America. “We are eager to kick off the Pasta Fits program to educate consumers about the great benefits of pasta. We have created a comprehensive program to set the record straight — pasta is an important and healthy part of any eating plan. We’ll provide consumers with knowledge and tools to enjoy pasta meals knowing that the nutritional value is as great as the taste.”

The N.P.A. said it will use scientific research that supports the benefits of diets that include carbohydrates such as pasta for weight control, and will educate consumers about why pasta and other carbohydrates are vital to a healthy lifestyle.

“There have been a number of diet trends that severely limit carbohydrate intake in favor of protein, but research shows that long-term weight control is not about proteins vs. carbs, but about energy balance,” said Sarah Wally, registered dietician and consultant to the N.P.A. “We want to debunk diet myths and teach consumers that carbohydrates are an integral part of healthful eating plans. Pasta is a perfect foundation for nutrient-dense, low calorie meals and can be successfully integrated into any weight loss plan.”