Food pyramid officially loses its edge(s)
June 2nd, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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The food pyramid has been dismantled in favor of a simple plate icon that urges Americans to eat a more plant-based diet.

One half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, with whole grains and lean protein on the other half, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Low-fat dairy on the side, such as a cup of skim milk or yogurt, is also suggested.

The new icon, MyPlate is designed to remind Americans to adopt healthier eating habits, in a time when more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

"It's an opportunity for Americans to understand quickly how to have a balanced and nutritious meal," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "It's a constant reminder as you look at your own plate whether your portion sizes are right, whether you've got enough fruits and vegetables on that plate."

Read the full story - "Plate icon to guide Americans to healthier eating"

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Filed under: Diets • FDA • Food Politics • Health News • MyPlate • News

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soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Dave Fields

    This is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate informationů Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

    June 21, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
  2. wildnebraksa

    WHERE IS WATER AND EXERCISE!!!! There is still a lot to divide up and break down within each of the food categories. Our serving sizes, sodium intake, heart healthy oils and fats, and like I said water and exercise, are not listed for consideration with this new presentation of the "food pyramid." I do not understand this plate. It is not going to help get the message across that no matter what you eat you need to make it go to work for your health. We do not eat just to be able to make our body "run for a day."

    June 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  3. Trainer Mike

    I think there's still WAY too much bread in the typical American dietm MyPlate, MyPyramid or whatever. My clients get into trouble when they have their Starbucks for breakfast, a scone for a snack, a sandwich for lunch, pretzels for a snack, pizza for dinner, and ice cream for dessert.....look at all that bread and sugar! Not to mention the environment we live in with treated water, enriched breads, pesticides and plastic containers is highly estrogenic which has been proven to significantly contribute to weight gain. Oh, Americans also drink a lot of alcohol....that's a whole bunch of empty calories right there. Sticking to the basics of the Paleo Diet has worked well for me. Lots of protein, nuts, fruits and veggies and I throw in an occasional sweet potato, bowl of oatmeal, or sandwich. More veggies, less bread. Simple as that.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  4. klbrowser

    Why is the dairy a separate category? Is it not protein? Surely we don't need meat plus dairy at every meal? One cup of Greek yogurt contains 22 grams of protein, more than most meats and plenty for an entire meal.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  5. Another Vegan

    (Oops, I meant to say, "Alf, you're right".)

    June 4, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  6. Another Vegan

    I think the plate is a good thing. So many people are sick from diet-related causes, and that costs all of us more tax-payer dollars.

    You're right. USDA says protein foods include beans, nuts, and seeds. Also, dairy foods include "calcium-fortified soy milk" (They forgot oranges, chia seeds, cruciferous veggies). But that's not clear from looking at the plate.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  7. Claire

    I swear, the USDA is totally ripping off the "Wheel of Nutrition" plate by these guys:
    I hope the designers call the USDA on it!

    June 4, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  8. Rich

    With 10 to 12 inch plates in our cabinets I am sure that this new guide will cure the obesity and diabetes that we have in this country. I lost 25 lbs in the last 5 months after reading the 4 Hour Body book. I give credit where it is due...Tim Ferris and Gary Taubes.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  9. becca

    dairy is the hardest part for me to give my cheese pizza! i totally agree with their portion sizes, particularly the protein portion. we eat way way tooo much protein that the body doesn't need. that ends up overworking the kidneys. we should eat to live and not live to eat!

    June 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Trainer Mike

      Pretty sure cheese pizza doesn't count as dairy....I would put that in the "crap" category.... =)

      June 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Trainer Mike

      Additionally, studies have shown that consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight can help speed fat loss while maintaining lean muscle mass. As long as you drink enough water, your kidneys should be able to handle that much. I find that my clients rarely eat enough protein for their needs....too many breads, sugars and startchy vegetables like white potatoes and corn.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
      • Coach Burger@Trainer Mike

        Gee,Why not just get them off they're fat azzes and exercise instead of eat all of the time. Simple,easy and faster results.

        June 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  10. Maria

    And it's all for us – – from our benevolent overlords at the USDA and Michelle Obama! Isn't that sweet of them to make it SIMPLE for we peasants to understand? They know we have a hard time reading big words and understanding what we read, because most of us have been "educated" in government schools – so, they decided to bring it down to, oh, first grade level! We iz sooooo luky two hab sutch a gud gubmint! (And it only cost us taxpayers 11 million dollars! That doesn't sound like a lot compared to the "trillions" we've been hearing about, huh?)

    June 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Woot!

      Maria, calm down dear, I think you just gave yourself an aneurism! Yikes. Conspiracy theorist much?

      June 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  11. Marrow

    WTF? with all this fancy powerpoint, how come the plate isn't 3D?

    June 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  12. mahmoud

    Yes it's a pie chart. Something 99% of Americans have no clue how to decipher. After all, 99% of Americans had no clue what the Pyramid was about, unless is was the one in Egypt, so what's the value added? None! A picture of the vintage army sectioned mess plate might be more useful. Mine has these foods:
    1/4 90% lean protein, 1/4 Raw or steamed veggies with lots of color, 1/4 Whole grains + Oats, 1/4 Fruits.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Shirley U Jest

      A pie chart......
      Chicken Pot Pie.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
      • Maria

        Pizza pie! All four food groups in one! :)

        June 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Maria

      So, 99% of Americans are too stupid to read a pie chart and can't "decipher" what the food pyramid was – so we have to have brains like you and those in the government to explain things. Might you have ever had the thought that most Americans don't give a care what the government says we should eat? Could it have ever crossed your mind that normal people can go through their whole day – indeed, their whole lives, healthy and happy, without some overpaid government beaurocrat telling them what to eat, what to buy, what doctor they can see, without checking in with the government?

      June 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  13. bad wendy

    my plate:
    to start a nice lobster bisque...
    then a wedge salad with blue cheese and red french dressing
    follwed by an 8 oz sirloin, just shy of mooing
    steamed broccoli
    mushrooms sauteed in garlic and red wine
    and for dessert i'll have a scoop of lemon sorbet please

    June 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • bad wendy

      crap! i forgot the circle on the side.. i'll have a nice Dunkel with that.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
      • Shirley U Jest

        Bad Wendy, that sounds Sooo Good.

        June 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  14. AleeD@My Plate

    2 inch thick filet – Pittsburgh
    Asparagus steamed in Worcestershire
    Okinawa baked potato w/macadamia nut butter
    Truffled wild mushrooms
    A nice Merlot

    June 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  15. I eat meat

    My plate – Butter chicken, chick pea curry, rice, pickles, beer

    June 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  16. Cole

    The praise/criticisms are funny. It's funny because the whole thing is moot. The public didn't follow the pyramids and they won't follow the plates.

    The ideal plate? That's easy – A pizza!

    Grain: Crust
    Fruit: Tomato sauce
    Vegetable: Plenty of toppings to choose from
    Protein: Cheese and plenty of toppings to choose from
    Dairy: Cheese

    Best part is that you can ditch the fork and glass and feature only a plate/pie!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Jerv

      We have a winner!

      June 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • JBJingles@Cole

      Love that! :)

      June 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  17. JBJingles

    "My Plate" (health repercussions aside) would have a nice grilled t-bone steak, baked potatoe with the works, and a cold/crisp lettuce wedge with blue cheese dressing, and replace the scotch with a glass of red wine please.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  18. AleeD

    I'd hate to have to give up eating meat. That's my favorite hobby.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  19. Jerv

    "Which section of 'My Plate' would be hardest to give up?" The Scotch!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • JainaJade@Jerv

      See I couldn't do without the dairy, everything else I could do without for a day or two. However I have found that a glass of milk a day keeps the inner witch in check. My poor boyfriend can vouch for this because he had to deal with my on antibiotics for a week that required me to avoid ALL dairy. Both of us were thankful when that experience was over!

      June 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • Jerv@JJ

        Ditto that on the dairy!

        June 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  20. I eat meat

    Pie...... Meat.....

    June 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  21. Happy Vegan

    I am so glad that they have finally replaced the out-of-date pyramid! Now if they would just get rid of the meat and dairy portion of the diagram, the world will be a better place. You can replace them easily with cruelty-free products that are better for you!

    June 2, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Veganese

      I agree. There is nothing better than an algae smoothie on a hot day. Once you try one, you will never look at green pond water the same again. People should stop eating plants that you have to kill in order to eat it like potatoes and peanuts. Instead just eat the fruits and nuts of the plants. There is no difference in slaughter whether it is an animal or a plant. Plants have feelings too!

      June 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
      • C

        The nuts and berries are the plants babies...
        Why aren't you concerned for the plants feelings when you rip its babies from her? Don't you hear her screaming?

        June 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • beef is good

      if you've ever seen little shop of horrors, or read the latest horticulture book's description of the venus flytrap, you would know that plants are carnivorous too... so should the venus fly trap not eat flys to survive?? it's a plant...does it not deserve to eat?

      June 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Another Vegan

      I agree with Happy Vegan. My husband and I have been vegan for nearly 25 years, and we're going strong at ages 52 and 60. The USDA's own "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010" lists vegetarian/vegan, Mediterranean, and DASH as the healthiest diets, according to evidence to date. The plate should clearly show that meat and dairy are optional, rather than necessary for health.

      June 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
      • alf

        If you look closely you'll see that nowhere on the plate does it say "meat". It says "protein" which can be found in many other foods besides just meat products.

        June 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Does not

      It doesn't say "meat" it says "protein".

      June 6, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  22. Doug Bishop

    Drew Griffin is a tool and Elizabeth Cohen should be fired just on this video alone. They are the quintessential selfish baby boomers. Griffin's joke about an "Egyptian burial tomb" is so lame he doesn't deserve his chair. The food pyramid illustrated in the video is the old one; the current one is vertical. More importantly, the food group at the apex of the old pyramid is at the top not because it's most important but because it's got the smallest surface area - indicating that it should be eaten the least.

    I hate the food pyramid, but I hate condescending, inaccurate reporters even more.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Jerv

      "Selfish baby boomers" get on my damn nerves too.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • King TUT

      You can eat my pyramid.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  23. Karen Baitch Rosenberg

    The food guide pyramid shown in this story and other CNN stories on this topic was made obsolete in 2005. The design used from 2005-2011 displays the food groups (and oils) via vertical, multi-colored columns within the pyramid to symbolize the food groups, including oils. A graphic of a running figure climbing steps on the left side of the triangle stresses the importance of incorporating exercise into our lives on a daily basis. See

    May 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • MalaDee@KBR

      That's addressed in the link where it says "Read the full story – "

      May 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  24. The Witty One

    This is all a scheme.....

    May 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  25. Spanky

    Why did the man name his dog Egypt? Because every where the dog went he left pyramids.

    May 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  26. Truth

    We are truly dumbing down as a culture when what was common sense to our grandparents now has to be made into an easy to read chart.

    May 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Reality

      What was "common sense" to our grandparents was incorrect, resulting in obesity and diabetes as the norm.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:10 am |
      • Jerv


        June 2, 2011 at 8:19 am |
      • Atheose

        Rubbish? The food pyramid IS incorrect, and the ridiculously high amount of recommended carbs are directly responsible for the current obesity/diabetes epidemic.

        June 2, 2011 at 8:44 am |
      • Ima Gogg@Atheose

        Really? You must be a sizable bovine to blame the government on your obesity. Or maybe you're just ignorant.

        Do you really think so many people in this country are fat because they've been following the food pyramid, the BMI & everything else our government throws at us? Do you not believe anyone should take responsibility for their food choices and lack of exercise?

        June 2, 2011 at 8:56 am |
      • Fat Albert

        Hay,Hay,Hay,and a Big Moo to you.

        June 2, 2011 at 9:04 am |
      • Donald Frump@Atheose

        IS not!

        June 2, 2011 at 9:06 am |
      • reality sux

        speak for your own family. My grandparents and parents always served healthy wholesome foods (well except for the pecan rolls and home made candy). So if your family is a tub of lard, don't assume every family is a tub of lard too. Fatso!

        June 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  27. AleeD

    Plate icon? Isn't that a pie chart?

    May 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
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