Thursday, July 28, 2011

US replaces food pyramid with "healthy plate"

Now this looks more like it!

Posted: 03 June 2011

US First Lady Michelle Obama (L) shakes hands with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees after speaking to help unveil the new food icon at the USDA in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)
WASHINGTON - The US government on Thursday ditched its two-decade old pyramid model for healthy eating and introduced a new plate symbol half-filled with fruits and vegetables to urge better eating habits.

The colourful design, called MyPlate, was unveiled by First Lady Michelle Obama and the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

"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," said Obama, who is a mother of two daughters, Sasha and Malia.

"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 plate is sectioned into four parts, with fruits and vegetables making up one half and grains and proteins filling the other half. A dairy drink is included alongside.

Nutrition and You with 2010 Dietary Guidelines, DRIs and MyPlate Update Study Card (2nd Edition)

Nutrition - Choose My Plate Poster "Enjoy your food, but eat less," the USDA said, urging people to "avoid oversized portions", choose fat-free or low-fat milk and "make at least half your grains whole grains".

The graphic replaces the food pyramid, released in 1992, which showed that fats and oils were located at the upper tip and should be used sparingly, while whole grains made up the base of the diet with six to 11 servings daily.

The pyramid design was modified in 2005 to include slices of colour and a figure climbing stairs to suggest the importance of exercise, but critics maintained it was too hard for the general public to understand.

"MyPlate is an uncomplicated symbol to help remind people to think about their food choices in order to lead healthier lifestyles," said Vilsack.

"This effort is about more than just giving information, it is a matter of making people understand there are options and practical ways to apply them to their daily lives."

A total of 26.7 percent of the US population is obese, and no single state has been able to meet the 15 percent obesity limit set by the US government, according to 2009 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

- AFP/al

Taken from; source article is below:
US replaces food pyramid with "healthy plate"

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