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Surprising Science

Dinner Plate to Replace Food Pyramid

The Obama administration is about to ditch the food pyramid, that symbol of healthy eating for the last two decades. In its place officials are dishing up a simple, plate-shaped symbol.

What’s the Latest Development?

The Obama administration will unveil a new approach to eating well next week, replacing the food pyramid with a dinner plate sliced into wedges for the basic food groups and half-filled with fruits and vegetables. “The new symbol was designed to underscore a central mantra of the federal government’s healthy eating push: make half your plate fruits and vegetables. And it is expected to be a crucial element of the administration’s crusade against obesity, which is being led by the first lady, Michelle Obama.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Although the food pyramid has been the standard of nutrition in America for the last twenty years, nutritionists and dietitians will shed few tears to see it go. “While instantly recognized by millions of American school kids, parents and consumers, [the food pyramid] was derided by nutritionists as too confusing and deeply flawed because it did not distinguish clearly between healthy foods like whole grains and fish and less healthy choices like white bread and bacon. A version of the pyramid currently appearing on cereal boxes, frozen dinners and other foods has been so streamlined and stripped of information that many people have no idea what it represents.”


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