Changed Food Pyramid

New Plate Unveiled

The USDA changed the food pyramid, which has been the symbol of a healthy diet since 1992, to a round dinner plate with sections representing the correct amounts of the various food groups necessary for good health.

Michelle Obama was instrumental in encouraging this change as she want to help decrease obesity in the United States. Does changing the food pyramid aid in controlling obesity? Does anyone other than school children look at the food pyramid to balance their diets?

This is not a Picture reflecting the new USDA Plate

source flickr
source flickr

Obesity Statistics

Obesity in the United States is defined by body mass index of 30 or greater which is calculated by a person’s weight and height. Obesity is considered a major risk factor for heart disease, type II diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. Over the last 20 years there has been large increase in obesity. Colorado and the District of Columbia were the only two states in 2009 that had an obesity rate less than 20%. The linked website lists the obesity rates by state. As to race and ethnicity, blacks have a 51% higher prevalence of obesity and Hispanics have a 21% higher obesity rate than whites

2005 Food Pyramid

source pyramidcuts.calvin
source pyramidcuts.calvin

Transition Food Pyramid to the Plate

Experts think the new plate will be better understood by the masses, as it would be a picture of how your plate should look at any given meal. One half of the plate will have fruits and vegetables and portion size is also addressed. The original food pyramid was released in 1992, which included the four food groups, with the recommended servings.The pyramid was then revised in 2005, which expanded the food groups to six and included a person walking up steps to emphasize exercise.

Food Pyramid Responsible for Obesity?

These food pyramids are a bit complicated and the USDA states the new plate will be much simpler to understand. Martin Binks, clinical director of Binks Behavioral Health in Durham, NC seems to think that obesity rates have climbed as the pyramid is too difficult to understand. I think the obesity rate has climbed for numerous reasons and the pyramid is not the primary reason. How many people do you know that keep that food pyramid framed on their kitchen wall?

I think the new plate is a good idea, but I don’t understand why the cost was $2,000,000. I do agree that simplifying the recommended food chart would be beneficial for teaching purposes, as in school or for a dietician. I also think that eating healthy should be emphasized in many ways, as obesity is a huge problem (no pun intended) in this country. If people are going to choose to eat healthier to lose weight, they will have to quit eating fast food, processed food, fried food, sugary foods and too much bread.

New Food Plate

source Huffington Post
source Huffington Post

New Plate Information

The new plate looks like an improvement as portion sizes are addressed. The primary message of the plate is that one half should be fruits and vegetables. This is very important as fruits and vegetables are filled with fiber, essential vitamins and photochemical, which are cancer fighting substances.

Michelle Obama will unveil the plate on Friday. The 2010 White House Child Obesity Task Force called for simple advice to equip consumers in understanding healthy eating. The plate wasn’t be seen until Michelle did the unveiling. However, William Neuman, of the New York Times, apparently has an inside connection to the USDA as he has given a description prior to the unveiling. He stated the plate consists of four colored sections to include fruits, vegetables, grains and protein and there will be a smaller circle beside the plate for dairy which suggests low-fat milk or yogurt.

Robert C. Post, PhD, deputy Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has referred to six “how-to messages” which include: balancing Calories by enjoying your food but eating less with smaller portions. Switching to fat-free or 1% milk is encouraged and make that plate one half fruits and vegetables. He also states you should check labels to find lower sodium foods; reduce bread and frozen meals. They also recommend drinking water instead of surgery drinks.

Food pyramid to change to round plate diagram

Summary

Will people pay attention to the new food advice? If they want to change their eating habits then the plate might help them, but if they are not interested they won’t give the plate a second glance. Physicians, nurses, dieticians and teachers probably can make the biggest impact on encouraging people to change their eating and exercise habits.

The copyright to this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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Comments 50 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Hopefully this will help with the obesity problems but I really do have my doubts about this new plate introduction making much of an impact.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Susan, I wish it would help obesity but I agree with you. Thanks for your comment.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Good hub, Pamela99. Some people this will help. The ones who think they're invulnerable, probably not.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

At a cost of two million dollars, Pamela, the USDA got the name wrong. It's not the Food Plate. It's the Fraud Plate.

It is excellent information though if people are willing to take advantage of it. As for me, I've always believed a balanced diet is chocolate in each hand.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

SunRob, That's probably exactly right. Thanks for your comment.

drbj, I think some got rich on this one. I'm all for chocolate! I appreciate your comment.


Ricardo Nunes profile image

Ricardo Nunes 5 years ago from Portugal

There they`re once again worried with the aesthetic aspects of the food problem... sometimes I wonder why the results of all those campaigns continue to be so poor!?

- "Lets change the look! No more food pyramid, from now on lets make it a small colorful food plate... this way consumers will continue feeling hungry (angry and frustrated) and guilty when the final results remain exactly the same... and our dear food companies will keep growing like the consumers` fat deposits. And we`re helping the pharmaceutic and health industries as well! That`s the way to get away from the recession we`ve created..."

As long as we keep saying people to reduce quantities and eat the wrong foods, people will keep feeling unsatisfied and consequently eating larger quantities of even wronger foods... as anybody can see, it`s a vicious circle... and someone wants it to stay that way because it also means money... lots and lots and lots of it! I`m talking specifically about the processed and animal foods production industry.

So, everybody, each and all of us has to choose foods which really satisfy our individual nutritional and energetic needs. The information is available out there... so it`s time for people to change the way they`ve trust others... we must start thinking for ourselves and stop paying for misinformations! or suffer the consequences... and we clearly know what the consequence are, don`t we!?

Oh my, I wrote a hub in your comment box... I`m sorry for my ranting comment, Pamela. It`s a subject that means a lot to me... sometimes I feel that most people don`t really give a dam to other people :(

So many products, diets, treatments, drugs and wonder foods... and still people are getting sicker everyday... we must care for our own health (mental and physical health) because we know that others won`t do it for us... specially when they`re doing it for the money!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Ricardo, I just read your hub late yesterday which talks about this very subject and you've made a lot of good points. Another thing that is difficult for people is to afford better quality organic food. Not everyone has space or is physically able to have their own garden which is ideal. I appreciate your strong feelings on this subject and your comments.


Steph Harris profile image

Steph Harris 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Obesity is a huge problem, not only in the states but here in the U.K. as well. If only people would look after themselves properly, as in cooking their own food rather than ordering out all the time and eating the large portions of carbs and very few vegetables that you get in take out food.

Lets face it, a burger, has a large bread bun around it, pizza is a bread base with very little topping usually. Even curries very often have a huge amount of rice with them, and then there are the poppodoms, chapati and naan breads. With chinese food we have rice or noodles, usually making up the larger part of the meal, plus prawn crackers. I am not saying we should never have a treat, but the more often we eat this unhealthy food the less of a treat it becomes.

Then, when we have spent the last couple of years eating food like this, and our children groan whenever a home cooked meal is placed in front of them, we suddenly come to our senses, look at our obese family and rush everyone to the doctors office, as though he can wave a magic wand and undo the self inflicted damage that we have done to ourselves.

I applaud Michelle Obama for trying to make it easier for people to understand what they should be eating. Whether it will work, we will have to wait and see. Yes, this is a subject I feel very strongly about. Sorry for going on a bit too much.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Steph, Thank you for writing your feelings about this problem. I didn't look up statistics for England but I feel that would have been a good idea as I know this problem is not limited to the US. I appreciate all of your comments.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Brilliantly written about a great problem.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hello, Thank you so much for your comment.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

Great hub Pamela, as always extremely informative. I personally doubt whether it will make very much difference! Generally people know what they SHOULD be eating, but do they abide by this? Rarely!


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

I agree that the new plate is a better visual reminder to people to remember that half the plate should be vegetables and fruits in each meal (because a plate represents a meal).

We do not get that message from the pyramid (which we tend to think of stuff to eat in a week or something).

If you look carefully at the plate, note that the vegetable portion should be larger than the fruit portion and in fact should be the largest portion of any meal.

The typical modern diet (think a plate of spaghetti) is too large in the carbohydrate portion.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Pamela, thank you for this hub..I heard this on the news several days ago along w/Michelle Obama's quotes...to me, it is better than the heavily laden meat % sold us in the past...along with eggs, milk...not at all necessary...in fact; detrimental..but, I digress..

To me, at a huge cost to taxpayers; we've just been duped again and dumbed down further...kind of like signs with figures rather than words....but, better than past food group serving suggestions.


coffeesnob 5 years ago

voted up.. liked the idea of kids harvesting and eating what they grew


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

Is the new plate thing because people aren't into 'figuring things out?" Too taxing of the brain or just because a visual is faster in our McDonald society?


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Acaetnna, I agree with you completely. Thanks for your comments.

Blissful writer, True enough. I just hope people pay attention. I appreciate your comments.

Lucky cats, I agree with you. I agree we have been duped again. Thanks for your comments.

coffeesnob, I like that also. I am amazed at how long some of my farming ancestors lived. Since I research genealogy sometimes it is surprising but they lived off the land. Thanks for your comment.

Bobbbi, Probably. I doubt it will make an impact on obesity and it cost tax payers $2,000,000.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware

I was wondering about this, thanks so much for explaining it so clearly. So now we have the food plate . . . got it! LOL


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 5 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

I learned a few things today about food and the food pyramid. You know your subject. I am rating this hub up, then I am getting some snacks.


Bethany Culpepper 5 years ago

It's about time! The food pyramid has needed a serious update in a long time. That change in 2005 was nothing. I try, try, try to keep the family eating healthy, but it's so hard when there are so many ready-to-eat/unhealthy options available. Thanks for spreading the word! Sending to FB!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Really informative hub Pamela. Although I really think that the new plate is a great visual idea, especially for kids, it will not solve the obesity problem in America. There are too many modern conveniences. It takes work and preparation to eat healthy and not enough people are willing stick with it.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Jen's Solitude, Thanks so much for your comment.

Astra Nomik, That sounds like a good plan. I appreciate your comments.

Bethany, It is a job keeping the family eating healthy. Thank you for your comment.

cardelean, I agree. I think the plate is good, but people may not change the way they have been eating all their lives. Thanks for your comment.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Obesity is rampant. I read that the most clothing sold for children were husky size. Obesity kills just like tobacco and alcohol. I'm glad to see that we have changed to a new plate instead of the pyramid. Thank you. Very informative.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

always exploring, Thank you so much for your comments.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

I think awareness is the key, and you have a done a great job with your hub. One of your followers said we know what is best -- and I agree. But I think we have to continue to send out the message. Yes, some of it is preaching to the choir -- but hopefully some of it is being taken to heart (both figuratively and literally). I do think education is the key, and kids are a great audience. I know 2 of my kids eat more healthy than I do.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Sally, I think teaching is the answer also, especially children as they are not so set in their ways. Glad you have healthy children. Thanks for your comment.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love this information. I don't know why your hub always attract us as a reader with valuable information. You make it more beautiful with pictures, diagrams and even videos. I give more attentions to healthy food and food pyramid is the great one. USDA Food Pyramid is new for me. Thanks for writing this and always share with us. You got my VOTE, again and again. I hope you always HEALTHY......amen. Have a nice weekend!

Prasetio


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I just saw the food plate on the news this morning. It will be interesting to see if it causes people to make changes to their diets.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Timely hub of importance. Time will tell as to whether it actually impacts people's eating patterns. I think that if school lunches followed this pattern and children were taught early on to eat like this, the long range battle would be won. Unfortunately few schools have budgets big enough to provide healthy meals like these proposed. Good hub, Pamela. Voted useful and up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Prasetio, It is always a delight to read your comments and I appreciate them very much. I hope you have a nice weekend also.

Cari, I hope it does help with the obesity problem. Thanks for your comments

Peggy, I think working with the children is the first place to start. I think children could bring healthy lunches from home also if they have a parent that is health conscious. Thanks for your comment.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

People have been eating for centuries without a government agency telling them "how to." This is probably simpler than the old "pyramid," and certainly simpler than the "7 food groups" I grew up with.

The whole concept bothers me, though, because all you really have to remember is, "All things in moderation."

Besides, they've still neglected to add chocolate as a food group! ;)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

DzyMsLizzy, That's a good point about the lack of chocolate particularly now they say dark chocolate is healthy! Thanks for your comment.


shygirl2 5 years ago

I think the new plate looks very promising! : ) I do think they need to add dark chocolate too though, even if it's just a small sliver on the plate. I have to agree with DzyMsLizzy. : ) Voted up and useful!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

shygirl, I agree. Thanks for your comments.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

Great hub! My son and daughter are both diabetics, one diet controlled and one on oral insulin, and their dietician described how they should be eating in exactly the same terms as the new USDA food guide.

The plate, and the food group proportions are simple and easy to understand, but should also be accompanied by some good clear advice on low fat, heart0-healthy choice.

It would be great to see this in the Canada food guide as well, and supported by doctors and pediatricians everywhere!

Oops, I ranted, too. :D Rated up and awesome.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

RedElf, I think the main thing the plate gives us is that the amount of vegetables and fruit needs to be dramatically increased in most people's diets. You are right as it doesn't address low-fat or healthy choices when it comes to proteins for instance. Thanks so much for your comments and I hope your children stay well.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

This is the way Dr. Sears presents the way to eat on the ZONE. I totally agree. It works for my husband as well as for myself.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hanna, I think I will check out the ZONE as I didn't know about Dr. Sears. Thank you for the information and your comments.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

How did Michelle become the expert on obesity and proper eating? I think she should host the shopping network and really show off her talents. In any event, I just can't get that excited about the plate. Good eating is common sense. Up and useful.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

POP, I think that's a marvelous suggestion it would keep her busy. Thank you so much for your comments.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Thanks for this great hub on such an important topic Pamela.

I am sure that many will benefit from reading it , myself included.

Useful/up here.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Eiddwen, I'm glad you found the hub useful and I appreciate your comments.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Will be interesting to see if the changes have any impact. That first plate would be a good reccomended diet lol


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Ethel, I hope it helps but I think it is going to take more as people have to make a decision to eat less and healthier. So many people are yo-yo dieters. Thanks so much for your comment.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 5 years ago from Michigan

Just read another hub regarding the food plate. The bottom line is it's up to us to make healthy choices for ourselves and our families. And that without exercise to go with these healthy choices, not much in reducing obesity will be achieved. I think the change is good, if only that it gets our attention to do better than what we had been doing. I recently read that the pyramid (which they are replacing), was actually for fattening cattle but was passed along as a guideline for human consumption as well -- sad. I am looking forward to seeing how this progresses. v/r


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Support med, I'm unsure as to how much this new plate will help but hopefully it will make an impact on school children. I wrote a hub probably well over a year ago about food pyramids and there are pyramids for numerous cultures, so I guess they have been used for quite some time but I hadn't heard they were first used for fattening cattle. Thanks for your comment.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

The ranchers don't frame it as a pyramid, but use the same nutritional proportions since long ago, so I was told in 1992 by a group of cattle ranchers. To test this, I switched to the Food Pyramid and quickly gained 15 pounds, and lost it when I changed back to my own system. So the PLate looks more effective than that.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

P)atty, I appreciate you adding this information. I would not follow a plan that made me gain 15 pounds either. Thanks for your comments.


cheetah786 profile image

cheetah786 3 years ago

interesting hub.. voted up..new plate is really good idea!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

cheetah, Obesity is such a big problem and hopefully this will help. I appreciate your comments.

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