Plate is replacing food pyramid as guide to a balanced diet

A segmented plate is the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s new icon for what to eat. It will replace the long-used food pyramid, which critics say is confusing. It makes clear a general consensus of nutrition experts about what amounts of what types of foods should make up a balanced diet.

MyPlate dedicates the most space to vegetables and grains, with fruits and protein each getting less than a fourth of the plate. Looking like a glass or cup on the side of the plate, a circle for dairy products gets a bit less. The graphic makes a clear point: “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables,” Robert Post, an official at USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, told told Brian Vastag of The Washington Post.
The new graphic was unveiled Thursday at USDA headquarters. First Lady Michelle Obama, who is a strong advocate for improving child nutrition, attended and said, “Kids can learn to use this tool now and use it for the rest of their lives. It’s an image that can be reinforced at breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Indeed, children will be exposed to the image, as they were the food pyramid, through USDA’s school-food programs. The new graphic was designed to combat obesity, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. (Read more)
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