Gone are any references to sugars, fats or oils, and what was once a category called “meat and beans” is now simply “proteins.” Next to the plate is a blue circle for dairy, which could be a glass of milk or a food such as cheese or yogurt.
Even though the plate is divided into four sections, the servings aren’t supposed to be proportional. Every person has different nutritional needs, based on age, health and other factors. The symbol, based on a new set of dietary guidelines released in January, is a general guideline.
First lady Michelle Obama unveiled the new "MyPlate" nutrition guide at USDA headquarters Thursday morning. The new design aims to replace the older pyramid with a more simple and straightforward plate.
‘MyPlate’ has thus far been well received, especially in comparison to the older model. As Jennifer LaRue Huget reported:
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.”
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