Health facts: Nutrition
The new U.S. Department of Agriculture daily nutrition icon is a round plate that consists of four colored sections, of varying sizes, for fruits, vegetables, protein and grains. There’s also a separate small circle next to the big one that consists of dairy recommendations – it looks like a glass next to the plate. The USDA aimed for this new guide to be clearer than the old one.
The USDA paid $2 million to revise and get the word out about the new food guide. While the tab is relatively large, USDA officials hope the health benefits are even larger, and help the public eat better than ever.
It took close to 5,000 people to create the new food guide. First lady Michelle Obama conceived the idea as part of her campaign against childhood obesity, and she personally unveiled it. About 4,500 adults and children were surveyed in focus groups to make sure the new plate was easy to understand.
With the revised food guide, the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are emphasizing that people should stay away from trans fats, sugars, sodium and heavily processed breads. They should be eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
The plate online
The plate goes beyond just a symbol – the USDA says it will be posting advice for healthy eating daily at Twitter.com/MyPlate. Also, you will soon be able to log onto choosemyplate.gov, and use its interactive tools to help you track and manage your weight and exercise.
The food pyramid was introduced in 1992, then redone in 2005 before being completely revamped in June. The new plate focuses on portion size and takes into consideration how people really eat.