New Food Icon Unveiled: Out With Pyramid, In With The Plate

The pyramid is dead, long live the plate.

Government officials today unveiled a simple, new visual cue to help Americans improve their eating habits: A dinner plate divided into four sections, vegetables and grains (slightly larger portions), fruits and protein (slightly smaller). And there's a side order of dairy.

According to live tweets from the USDA's unveiling ceremony this morning, First Lady Michelle Obama heralded the new plate, but said it's just one of many steps needed on the road to better health for children and families:

When Moms and Dads come home from work, we're a chef, referee & cleaning crew. It's tough to be a nutritionist too!

MyPlate is simple enough for kids to learn and use the rest of their lives. It can be practiced at every meal, no matter your age.

MyPlate can be useful today. We still need to work on access, physical activity, decisions. Rest assured @LetsMove will keep working.

Will be working with communities, partners of every sector and using social media to get the word out...

The demise of the confusing, and long-ridiculed food pyramid will not be greeted with much sadness, it appears.

A few days ago, before he'd even seen the new icon, Walter C. Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health told The New York Times: “It’s going to be hard not to do better than the current pyramid, which basically conveys no useful information.”

This program aired on June 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Rachel Zimmerman

Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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