When I was in school we learned about the four food groups. It seemed a very simple chart to follow, and it wasn’t until much more recently that I learned that the whole system that I had learned was replaced in 1992 with the food pyramid. It looks as though the paradigm is about to shift again, with the replacement of the food pyramid on June 2nd.
When I first saw the food pyramid, I found it slightly overwhelming and a bit confusing, and it appears that I was not alone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) feels that the food pyramid just doesn’t capture the attention of the public anymore. Personally, I think it was a failure to begin with, since it took so long for me to learn about it. I don’t remember when it was, but I definitely first learned about it after 2000, after it had been around for at least eight years. I’d call that a failure.
From an interview with WebMD:
“Consumers can look forward to a new, simple, easy-to-understand cue to prompt healthy choices,” Post tells WebMD. “You will get this monumental effort across all agencies as well as the private sector. A partnership with the goal of improving the health of all Americans.”
One of the few people who already has seen the icon is WebMD Director of Nutrition Kathleen Zelman, RD.
“This icon really has the potential to trigger an ‘aha!’ moment, where people say, ‘Hey, this is not that hard, I can do this,'” Zelman says. “These ‘aha!’ moments are what make people finally change their behavior.”
The release of the icon marks the launch of a massive effort to promote the USDA/HHS dietary guidelines announced last January.
Look for the icon to release with the new guidelines on June 2. Here’s the update: MyPlate replaces Food Pyramid.