Have too much on your plate?
Apparently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) thinks so, because it is coming out with new guidelines aimed at changing the way we look at food. Part of an overall campaign to fight America’s growing obesity rate, the new food pyramid is actually—reportedly—a plate.
First, a little history. The Food Pyramid was officially adopted by the USDA in 1992. Up until that time, we essentially talked about the “food groups,” meaning meat, milk, fruits and vegetables, and bread.
1916: USDA publishes a food guide, Food for Young Children
1943: The “basic seven” guideline was replaced by the “basic four”
1970s: A fifth group was added that included fats, sugars, and alcohol
1978: The food pyramid was published in Denmark
1992: The USDA adopted the Improved Food Pyramid with four levels
2005: MyPyramid was released by the USDA
While the Food Pyramid was meant to help Americans plan healthy meals, general consensus is that it was too complicated and was never embraced by the general public.
That brings us up to now, when word has it that the new icon—a dinner plate—will be unveiled this morning at a press conference featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Nothing is officially on the USDA website yet, but it’s spreading across the Web anyway. Reportedly, the new plate graphic will be divided into four sections representing the four main food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Next to the plate will be a smaller circle to represent a small portion of dairy. Each food group will be color coded and portioned according to new dietary guidelines which were released in January.
The Obama administration believes that this plate will be more widely accepted and far easier to understand than the current Food Pyramid. Mrs. Obama has been the nation’s chief proponent of healthy eating and has taken on the challenge of ending childhood obesity in the U.S.
We’ll have more when the official announcement is made today.
In the meantime, you can check out more at these sites:
Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Dinner Plate