Food Plate Replaces Food Pyramid
Michelle Obama have been very influential in re-educating America on proper nutrition. From images of the First Lady shopping at Farmers’ Markets, to planting community gardens, she has now endorsed (as part of her healthy eating campaign) the Food Plate Diagram. The MyPlate will replace the old Food Pyramid released in 1991, and the updated version released in , My Pyramid. After decades of trying to mold the American diet into a pyramid, that iconic shape has been replaced by a simple plate. Divided unequally into vegetables, grains, protein and fruit with the dairy off to the side – the new image promises proper balance.
There are several new concepts that are being rolled out with this new image of health:
- Enjoy your food, but eat less
- Make half of your plate fruit and vegetables
- Avoid large portions
- You do not have to count servings, if you want to eat less – choose a smaller plate
- Switch to low-fat or fat-free dairy products
- Choose low sodium foods
- Drink more water instead of sugary drinks
Overall, it seems to be a step in the right direction – recognition that we needed to simplify the imagery into something that can be understood by all ages. For me, however, it still doesn’t address the issue of where our food comes from. Essentially you could eat whatever you wanted – processed or not – local or not – and still be considered healthy. Perhaps this over simplifies the issue. What people see as fruit could mean many things, a can of corn syruped peaches could theoretically count as the fruit portion of the plate. America needs to not only think about portion control, but start consciously thinking about how the food got on the plate and where the food came from. The good news is we are moving, and I hope we are moving closer to a healthier future.