After nearly two decades of using the food pyramid, the USDA instituted a simpler icon to guide Americans in proper nutrition. The new plate icon encourages Americans to eat a more plant-based diet, by suggesting that half of every meal consist of fruits or vegetables, while the other half should consist of whole grains and lean protein.

The USDA hopes the new icon will help Americans adopt healthier eating habits at a time when obesity rates for adults and children are skyrocketing.

“It’s an opportunity for Americans to understand quickly how to have a balanced and nutritious meal,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “It’s a constant reminder as you look at your own plate whether your portion sizes are right, whether you’ve got enough fruits and vegetables on that plate.

First Lady Michelle Obama is also embracing the new guidelines. She was on hand this morning to speak at a press conference to unveil the new plate icon.

“When it comes to eating, what’s more useful than a plate?” Mrs. Obama asked. “It’s a quick simple way for all of us to be mindful of the foods we’re eating.”

Despite the new guidelines, however, Mrs. Obama warned that it isn’t a panacea for the rising obesity epidemic.

“It can’t ensure our communities have access to affordable fruits and vegetables,” Obama said. “That’s still work we need to do.”

The new plate icon replaces the old food pyramid, which critics considered too confusing and too heavily focused on consuming consume large amount of grains and carbohydrates.

With the introduction of the new plate icon, the USDA also rolled out a new website, Choosemyplate.gov, which will show Americans how to stretch their food budget while still eating healthy.

What do you think of the new eating guidelines? Do you think it will help Americans make better food choices?

 

 

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  • omg

    americans don’t wanna do nothing that requires thought and energy. it has to be easy.

    we wanna pull our fat asses up to the drive thru, say what we want, stick our arm out the window to get the (alleged) food, and drive off in our gas-guzzling suvs.

    and if we get sick because of our greedy, lazy ways, we expect a pill or quick surgery to fix our missteps. or we get mad when we get thrown off a plane for being too fat.

    this will fail just like the food pyramid. lmao. please.

    will make no dang difference.

  • Alexandra

    It’s really the same thing. I don’t know why I was happy about this new pyramid….. :-/
    And I don’t think this alone will help Americans make better choices. Fast-food is still there, and bigger than ever.

  • Favors

    WTF…………why does it seem like the portions are somewhat equal. THIS is why we’re losing. I would like for fruits and veggies to serve as a larger portion in contrast to “protein/meat”……….we already know the meat industry is not well regulated by the USDA/ FDA and our intake of mystery meat should be limited.

    • Tomi-chan

      Protein does NOT mean meat. They do not go hand in hand. Protein is the category and meat is a part of it. Lots of not meat things are protein: eggs, dairy, seeds, nuts, legumes, fish. But yes, we should regulate the consumption of meat. It wastes too much wheat and other grains.

      http://vimeo.com/8812686

      Watch this.

    • Mogami-san

      @Tomi-chan

      I really liked the video. Thanks for posting it. :)

    • Tomi-chan

      @Mogami-san

      Thank you! Haha I’ve had the hots for Seku ever since freshman year in highschool. I never miss the chance to show him off =P Oh and by the way, do you speak Japanese? (Is purely going off the honorific that seems to be from a language we are both at least aware of? And Mogami is a combination of most and on top. So I think your name means you are the bestest. Quite true)

  • Domino

    I think its hideous and boring. They should have spent time and energy creating real reform. Bring fresh greens into schools, subsidize healthy fruits and vegetables so its not more expensive than fast food, stop giving antibiotics to diseased livestock, bring back home economics into school that both girls AND boys can participate and learn how to cook healthy meals for themselves.

    What about cooking with spices that provide antioxidants? What about processed foods? What about fruit juice vs whole fruit. Like really….why did they even bother.

    • minna k.

      Love your comment!

      And the others above as well. At least we know what’s up.

      Home EC is very much missed. I didn’t have it. It could have been so useful as a kid.

      Can you imagine how much money Mc D’s or any other fast fried corp would be loosing just by including a quality home ec program? I think this is part of the reason that it is not happening. There is a lot of stock in our illnesses.

      As it is well intended, the Beyonce song/dance is not a cure for an unhealthy life.