Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture finally retired MyPyramid, a confusing, multi-colored icon that did very little to clarify what and how much Americans should be eating. I [lightbox href=”http://youtu.be/Il36__k3WHQ”]appeared on FOX[/lightbox] to discuss this initiative.
The new graphic replacing the pyramid is called MyPlate. It’s a simple image of a dinner plate showing five food groups and indicating portion sizes for each.
Of course, there were both cheers and jeers after the icon was unveiled. Some of my colleagues were downright appalled by the ambiguity of the guidelines. They wanted quinoa and millet and bulgur listed in place of grains; they growled about dairy being included (What about those who are intolerant!? Allergic!?) And do we dare discuss protein? (“Legumes and grains can be your source of protein!”)
An icon isn’t going to help you eat smarter, lose weight, get in shape or feel better about yourself. That’s up to the individual. This initiative is about education — closing the gap between those who are informed and those who are not. Is this icon perfect? No. But as I see it, this basic plate makes it very clear to people what a “healthy meal” should look like. Right now, there are few plates out there that mimic this graphic. So, I applaud this small, positive step toward change. It will make a wonderful teaching tool and may just inspire people to think before they eat.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.