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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 06/02/2011

MyPlate might actually work

The USDA unveiled — well, there wasn't really a veil involved — its new healthful-eating icon this morning.

It is, as was expected, a plate:


A huge improvement over the baffling MyPyramid icon that it replaces, MyPlate is as easy as pie to understand; its designers smartly saved the fine print about how to actually fill the wedge-shaped spots on the plate for the Web site, ChooseMyPlate.gov. MyPlate, like the Food Pyramids before it, is meant to convey the key messages of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in a simple, consumer-friendly fashion.

It’s no fun, finding nothing to be snarky about with this particular use of federal funds. But, really, this plate thing, though not all that original, makes sense. And it probably will prove to have legs. In her remarks at the news conference at which MyPlate was introduced this morning, first lady Michelle Obama pointed out that the icon is “simple enough for children to understand, even at the elementary school level. They can learn to use this tool now and use it for the rest of their lives.”

Obama also said, “This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating, and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country.”

“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. 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 USDA invites people to “take a photo of their plates and share on Twitter with the hash-tag #MyPlate. USDA also wants to see where and when consumers think about healthy eating. Take the plate and snap a photograph with MyPlate to share with our USDA Flickr Photo Group.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this morning repeated the line he speaks at the end of the video introducing MyPlate: “In the months and years ahead, we hope that MyPlate becomes your plate.”

Will it become yours? What do you think of this new graphic? Check out Post reporter Brian Vastag’s take here.

By  |  12:10 PM ET, 06/02/2011

 
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