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USDA Serves Up Food Guidelines on a Plate
June 9, 2011

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The Food Pyramid is now MyPlate.

The U.S. guide to eating healthy now looks like a dinner plate, with recommendations for how much of which each food group people should eat. Fruits (red) and vegetables (green) make up more than half of the plate, with grains (orange) and protein (purple) filling out the rest. Suggesting a glass of milk, dairy appears as a blue circle adjoining the plate.

The main vehicle for sharing the information is the ChooseMyPlate website, which has a large amount of informative Q&As (defining such things as "empty calories" and "added sugars", checklists, and interactive tools, including a daily food planner. On the site is a feature titled MyFood-a-pedia, which allows students and adults to search a large encyclopedia of food knowledge for information about portions and calories, as well as compare two foods to see which is higher in certain vitamins or minerals.

Advice includes varying the amount of kind of healthy foods consumed and a focus on lean protein and dairy and whole grains. Also emphasized is the need to keep food safe from spoiling.

The change in the look of the food guidelines is part of the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity. Michelle Obama also broke ground on a White House vegetable garden a couple years ago.

The site also has information on combining a healthy diet with appropriate amounts of physical exercise.

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