In The News: MyPlate Replaces MyPyramid For Dietary Guidelines

| 6/21/2011 11:23:17 AM

J.PattonAt the beginning of this month, the folks at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) kicked their most recent icon for dietary guidelines, MyPyramid, to the curb in favor of a new graphic to lead Americans out of the obesity epidemic.

The USDA released MyPlate at the beginning of this month in place of MyPyramid.
Photo by USDAgov/Courtesy Flickr

This new image, MyPlate, features a much simpler design than its pyramid predecessor. The plate is divided into fourths. One fourth is devoted to fruit, the second to vegetables, the third to grains, and the fourth to protein. A glass of milk is placed above the plate to represent an individual’s daily dairy consumption.

The previous food pyramid released in 1992 suggested that foods from the grains 
food group take up the majority of American's daily diets.
Photo by DailyM = Differentieel + JeeeM/Courtesy

MyPlate is quite a bit different than the pyramid that I grew up with. My dietary guidelines were dictated by the food pyramid that was released in 1992. It recommended a whopping six to 11 servings of bread, cereal and pasta, and only five to nine servings of fruits and veggies combined. Grains appeared to be the basis of the pyramid, which really promoted obesity in the long run, rather than discouraging it. Also, fats and oils were at the top of the pyramid, which to some meant they looked like the “top dogs” of the food world, or the most appealing.

In 2005, the USDA released a different version of the pyramid, called MyPyramid. It showed a stick man walking up the pyramid, promoting exercise and physical activity. The pyramid was very vague about the amount of servings needed from each food group, however, and did not get an enthusiastic response in the nutrition world.