When I officially began studying food and nutrition science at Georgia State University, one of my first classes covered the basics via the Food Guide Pyramid. It was criticized for being carb heavy and labeling all fats as “bad.”
In 2005, the Food Guide Pyramid underwent a radical change. The dated pictures of foods were traded in for bright, clean and colorful bands representing the different food groups and MyPyramid was born. The new pyramid also added a person climbing up the pyramid to encourage a balance between physical activity and food. Importantly, MyPyramid also came with a great website that explained it in great detail. It encouraged fruits, veggies and more whole grains (versus refined ones). It also identified healthy fat options like nuts and heart healthy oils.
Through its changes, big and small, the food guide pyramid has remained an American food icon. But that’s all about to change. Tomorrow, the US government will announce a brand new food icon.
SPOILER ALERT: I’m hearing that the icon will be a plate with colorful wedges representing fruits, veggies, grains and lean protein. It will be accompanied by a small dish on the side for low fat or fat free milk products.
I personally like the idea of a plate but I’m curious to see how they’ll weave in the physical activity aspect. Also… size matters. No matter how great the plate, a key message must be on portion control to be truly effective.
The pending announcement has been abuzz around the internet. Check out some of the most popular articles:
Forget the Food Pyramid — a New Symbol Is Set to Take Its Place, ABC News, 6/1/11
Food Pyramid Replacement: The Plate Coming June 2 , WebMD, 5/31/11
Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Dinner Plate, New York Times, 5/28/11
For the full scoop… Watch the webcast tomorrow at 10:30 AM Eastern as First Lady Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Surgeon General Benjamin unveil the new food icon live via http://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdamedia?navid=USDA_LIVE.
I’ll definitely be watching and tweeting live @marisamoore.
I’ll be back here with all of the details on the new food icon and how you can use it to help you eat better as soon as I have a chance to, ahem, digest it all.