Food Pyramid Replaced by 'MyPlate' Icon Emphasizing Fruit, Vegetable, Grains, Protein and Dairy
Move over, food pyramid. There's a new icon to remind Americans how to eat better.
Department of Agriculture has unveiled the federal government's new
food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make
healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the
intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at
meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going
to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.
"This is a
quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods
that we're eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is
going to help parents across the country," said First Lady Michelle
Obama. "When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we're
already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it's tough
to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our
kids' plates. As long as they're half full of fruits and vegetables,
and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we're
golden. That's how easy it is."
"With so many
food options available to consumers, it is often difficult to determine
the best foods to put on our plates when building a healthy meal," said
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "MyPlate is an uncomplicated symbol
to help remind people to think about their food choices in order to
lead healthier lifestyles. This effort is about more than just giving
information, it is a matter of helping people understand there are
options and practical ways to apply them totheir daily lives."
"The new icon
is simple and easy to understand, with more emphasis placed on fruits
and vegetables," said U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin. "This
new tool can be a fun way to help individuals and families make
healthier meal choices. I encourage all Americans to follow the new
dietary guidelines and become familiar with the new icon because it
will serve as a compass to a healthy and fit nation."
identified in the Child Obesity Task Force report which noted that
simple, actionable advice for consumers is needed, MyPlate will replace
the MyPyramid image as the government's primary food group symbol as an
easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating
habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
MyPyramid will remain available to interested health professionals and
nutrition educators in a special section of the new website.
provides practical information to individuals, health professionals,
nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build
healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment,
nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. As
Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity,
the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier
food choices for themselves, their families, and their children. Later
this year, USDA will unveil an exciting "go-to" online tool that
consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical
Over the next
several years, USDA will work with First Lady Michelle Obama's
Let'sMove! initiative and public and private partners to promote
MyPlate and ChooseMyPlate.gov as well as the supporting nutrition
messages and "how-to" resources.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, launched in January of this year,
form the basis of the federal government's nutrition education
programs, federal nutrition assistance programs, and dietary advice
provided by health and nutrition professionals. The Guidelines messages
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Avoid oversized portions
Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
Foods to Reduce
- Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
these tested, actionable messages will be the "how-tos" for consumer
behavior change. A multi-year campaign calendar will focus on one
action-prompting message at a time starting with "Make Half Your Plate
Fruits and Vegetables."
"What we have
learned over the years is that consumers are bombarded by so many
nutrition messages that it makes it difficult to focus on changes that
are necessary to improve their diet," said Secretary Vilsack. "This new
campaign calendar will help unify the public and private sectors to
coordinate efforts and highlight one desired change for consumers at a
For more information, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.