The United States Department of Agriculture replaces the iconic “food pyramid” with a plate, in hopes of making it much more clear what healthy nutrition is.
The Mighty Food Pyramid
We all know it, even those of us outside the US: A pyramid with grains as foundation, followed by fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat and, finally, a tiny bit of fats and sweets to make the top.
Originally it had been invented in Denmark, but it was only after the USDA adopted the design, that it was spread throughout the world. And ever since it did, hot debates ranged around why and where what should and shouldn’t go into it.
Yet whatever was where in the pyramid, apparently many people didn’t understand it anyway. Or didn’t care. Or both. Which is why it has now been replaced by a plate, cut into different sections, in an attempt to make understanding so easy you can’t ignore the meaning, even if you wanted to:
First Lady Michelle Obama believes that it will make it easier for parents to judge what their children are eating, simply by looking at their plates:
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. 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.
Of course, the new design has its critics. Dr. Marion Nestle told the New York Times that she finds labeling a large section of the plate with “protein” confusing and unnecessary, while various other commentators complained about too many carbohydrates in it and no respect for glycemic loads.
What Do You Think?
In other words: Experts and so-called experts are jumping out of the ditch, some at least in what may be an attempt at furthering a personal agenda. But the specific points they make are beside the question; the plate may not be perfect, but for many people following it should be an improvement over what they previously ate.
Or won’t it? Will the people for whom this plate is intended find it easier to understand than the pyramid? Which design do you find easier to understand?