Thursday, June 2, 2011

The New Food Plate Has Finally Arrived!!!

Today is a big day in the nutrition world.... the new "My Plate" ( was unveiled with help of First Lady Michelle Obama and replaces "My Pyramid". The first Food Guide Pyramid was unveiled in 1992 and then revamped in 2005 into "My Pyramid" which was changed to emphasize physical activity, whole grains, and healthy fats (instead of sweets and fats which were on the old food guide). "My Pyramid" was supposed to be individualized and interactive to meet the needs of Americans, the only problem was that no one understood what it meant, and those without internet access could not get their individualized plan. Even dietitians complained about how it was hard for the normal person to understand, and dietitians themselves had trouble explaining the visual design.

The new "Food Plate" is very simple and shows what your plate should look like at each meal. Slightly less than 1/4 fruits and protein, and slightly more than 1/4 vegetables and grains, with a serving of dairy on the side.

First Lady Obama stated at the presentation today:
"This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we're eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country.... When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we're already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it's tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our kids' plates. As long as they're half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we're golden. That's how easy it is."

The idea behind the plate is that Americans eat off of plates, and not pyramids. Anyone who can read can understand it, and for those that can't, plates will be made showing the actual food examples.

The website states the goals of My Plate with special attention to goals of the
Personally, I think this is a great step and a much easier desing for the American population to understand. It's just unfortunate that it has taken this long, considering that dietitians and nutrition-related health professionals have been using the plate design for many many years. Lots of $$$ was put into the interactive website and marketing of "My Pyramid", but I do not feel that it is all lost money. The MyPyramid website ( does give people the ability to evaluate their diets and find out their specific needs, which cannot be done by just looking at the plate design. I guess you can see I see the glass half-full (of skim milk) with regards to the expenses and effort used for MyPyramid.


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