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Bethany Moncel

The New USDA "My Plate" Guide

By June 10, 2011

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USDA My Plate
Image by the United States Department of Agriculture

The USDA's new MY Plate food guide marks a step in the right direction for food and health education. The new My Plate diagram replaces the last food guide pyramid that was implemented in 2005. The old, rainbow-like food pyramid was met with criticism from health professional community due to its complexity and uninformative design. It may have taken six years, but the USDA has ditched the tradition of the pyramid in favor of a design that just makes sense.

The new 2011 food guide pyramid is not a pyramid at all but a simple visual representation of what a healthy plate looks like. The easy to read diagram can be quickly interpreted and implemented at any meal without any further reading or calculating. For those who want to learn more, the ChooseMyPlate.gov website offers a slew of interactive tools, tips, charts, and diagrams to help people learn about the relationship between food and health.

I've got to hand it to the USDA for creating a clear, easy to use reference for healthy eating. Check out the new My Plate and all of the tools, tips, and other resources at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

And just for a little fun, check out how the Food Guide Pyramid came to be in this Brief History of the USDA Food Guides.

What do you think about the new My Plate design? Do you think it will be a useful tool to teach basic healthy eating habits? Leave a comment and share your thoughts and ideas!


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