MyPlate succeeds MyPyramid

June 03, 2011

The USDA's updated food pyramid is now a plate. See how MyPlate communicates messages about healthy eating to all consumers.

A colorful four-part plate, similar to a pie chart, with a side portion of dairy, replaces the 19 year old food pyramid as the icon of the US Dietary Guidelines with the intent of empowering Americans to eat the correct mix and portions of foods.  Released June 2, 2011, MyPlate, “is the next-generation’s food icon,” commented Robert Post, PhD, deputy director of the USDA’s center for nutrition policy and promotion, to WebMD.  He goes on to say that, “the icon is the visual cue to get to online resources, to online media, and to unified nutrition messages from public- and private-sector efforts.”  The Lempert Report commends the USDA for taking the step to create a more visual, comprehensive, and interactive representation of the dietary guidelines. It's about time that we learn to communicate 2011 style.

A picture - is worth a thousand words, and unlike the confusing and sometimes indecernable food pyramid logo, shoppers will now have a better idea of what their total diet and general meals should actually look like -- on their plate.  

MyPlate features the five food groups that are vital to a healthy diet - fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Fruits and vegetables take up half the plate  and grains and protein take up the other half, the grains portion is slightly larger than the protein slice. 

The brilliance of the plate is in its simplicity. The fact that the plate itself does not suggest any specific foods directly on the image helps consumers choose from a variety of foods- and not get stuck in a rut. Follow the links and click on the sections of the plate at