Does the original, triangular food guide pyramid confuse you? Do you find its design to be archaic and unhelpful in maintaining a healthy diet? If so, you’re in luck! This past June, the United States Department of Agriculture along with Michelle Obama, created a new nutritional guide. They abandoned the outdated pyramid model, and introduced the modernized, circular “MyPlate”. In hopes of further combating obesity, Mrs. Obama stated that the MyPlate is a “quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating”.
The MyPlate design is significantly different than those of past food guides. Split into four sections, the MyPlate provides a space for fruits, vegetables, grains and protein. At the top corner of the plate sits a smaller circle, providing a space for dairy products. The concept is simply this: If a plate of food resembles the circular MyPlate symbol, then it is a healthy, acceptable meal.
According to officials, the plan to introduce and explain the new dietary guidelines to consumers will involve numerous campaigns. The first half of the campaign will push consumers to consume “half-a-plate size” portions of fruits and vegetables, and to enjoy their meals but eat less. As time progresses, officials will slowly begin to educate people about the negatives of oversized portions, and the importance of drinking water.
Only time will tell how consumers will receive the MyPlate campaign and the nutritional values that support it. With a refined model that is more straightforward and easy to understand, MyPlate will hopefully encourage people to think about the food they are eating, and improve their diet. While the new guidelines are not perfect, they are a significant improvement to the past two food pyramids. So next time you are struggling to find a healthy meal, think back to the new food chart, and make yourself a MyPlate.
Interested in learning more about MyPlate? Visit www.choosemyplate.gov for more information.