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Out with the Pyramid, In with the Plate

What You Need to Know about USDA's ''MyPlate''


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  • It would be cool to be able to buy "the plate" to use.
    Anyone else notice this is almost exactly the same format as Spark People's "Bikini Diet" plan? Lol, greatness!
  • I think it's fantastic and really simplifies things! I really hope this helps more understand portions, etc.
    I like the plate! I, also as some other mentioned, learned the four food groups (meat, dairy, grains, fruits&veggies) which was simple (thus I remember them 35+ years later) but not necessarily really that healthy. No one 'idea' is going to fit for everyone however I think this is simple enough and visual enough that people can easily remember. I would say that if make easy people will remember maybe use and THEN get interested in more detailed information.
  • Love it!

    : )
  • I grew up in the 70's and 80's. We were taught the 4 food groups and the visuals were over simplified. Then the Baby boomers took over the world and created the intellectually stimulating pyramid. They must have spent years talking and debating over the intricacies of such a graphic. How I longed for the days when cows roamed a quarter of my day and bread was all abound with every meal. The government of food said that I should have a quarter of the stuff each day. Did I mention that the bread was white bread that we got on sale 2/1.00? Well maybe the intellects are still around perhaps influenced by those of us with simpler taste. I like the plate, it’s a simpler graphic that makes memorizing easier, and it’ll come in handy when at a party or a picnic. If only the dairy was given another name like dairy/calcium/soy or something like that. Too bad Wal-Mart doesn't sell those nine inch plates maybe more Americans would have them.
    It's about time! It's not perfection but it's improvement and a step in the right direction to inform and encourage Americans to eat and live healthier.
  • After attending a culinary program and having done research on the food pyramid and the politics behind the USDA, I do not agree with the authors explanation as to why "protein", a nutrient was included on the plate. While attending the culinary program, protein to the instructors meant: beef, chicken, pork, or seafood. That is what Americans are taught and the food plate is reflecting this.

    I have a hard time believing that "protein" was used because the test group understood that protein is available from other sources instead of just animal products. If that is the case, then why do we have that little circle representing a glass of milk instead of calcium. To me, it looks like the Dairy Industry had the most clout and influence in creating this graph.

  • One can always quibble over the simplicity of this plate but the fact is, it gets the message of variety over with a punchy image that is easy to remember. There are people who will always think of "vegetable" = "starchy vegetable" but I think our awareness of the desirability of colorful veggies is increasing, and this plate puts over the message that HALF of what you eat at each meal needs to be veggie and fruit. That has been the tough habit for me to form, since I too was raised on meat, potatoes, bread and maybe one other vegetable which was overcooked. In the summer we did have lots more fruit.
    I hated the old pyramid - when I thought about it, which wasn't often...
  • Great article! I also appreciate the list of sources and the links to those website. A wealth of information. Thank you!!!
  • I really do not like the plate idea. Like the article says -- it leaves out fats, oils, and sugars.

    Instead of telling people what they "CAN'T" eat we should be teaching MODERATION. Let our children have a variety of foods (even the "bad" ones on occasion) and teach them how to make better choices.

    The obesity problem in America is also more than food. Remote control tv's, video games that imitate backyard baseball, automatic washing machines, automatic dishwashers, self-propelled law mowers, cars to go 1/4 miles, etc. etc. etc. We have become a very lazy society.

    I believe that if you eat in moderation (with the occasional treat) and exercise moderately you will be okay.
  • Well done, ladies!!!
    I remember teaching the pyramid in elementary school and know this new plate version will make a lot more sense.
    I really like the new plate idea. The pyramid was a bit confusing, I must say, and the plate actually makes the concepts easier to visualize. I will try out the plate method for a few meals and see how it goes. I predict it will be easy and keep me on the right track. Good article!
    I find it frightening that we health professionals continue to "dumb down" our public education about nutrition. When will we learn it's not about graphics and sound-bite messages?! What we eat and how we buy and prepare it are complex and important concepts. The pyramid failed for the same reason the plate will: Only the people charged with teaching the public about nutrition care about these graphics! At least the plate is related to food and eating. I truly never understood what pyramids had to do with it--and I'm a health professional!
    @Dawn That's because we replaced an old article about the pyramid with this new one so that the old outdated one would no longer be on the site. Sorry about that!

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