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Changed Food Pyramid

Updated on March 7, 2019
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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


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


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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