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Food Pyramid Replacement Icon To Be Unveiled June 2

Stacey Doyle's picture

In an attempt to improve America's well-being, the food pyramid used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be replaced by a new icon resembling a plate to be unveiled on Thursday, June 2, 2011.

The familiar food pyramid taught in health classes across the nation will soon be retired for a new icon in an attempt to improve America's health. With fewer people paying attention to the food pyramid, a new initiative is looking to grab the attention of Americans.

Robert C. Post, deputy director the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, stated to WebMD, “Consumers can look forward to a new, simple, easy-to-understand cue to prompt healthy choices. 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.”

The new icon is part of the effort to promote the USDA/HHS dietary guidelines released last January. The White House will also play a major part by coordinating these dietary guidelines with Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative.

According to the New York Times, the new icon replacing the food pyramid is a plate-shaped symbol with wedges designating the basic food groups. Some are comparing the new icon to a pie or pizza, though it is reported to more closely resemble a dinner plate.

The new plate-shaped icon will be released on Thursday to remind consumers of the basics for a healthy diet. The four colored sections include fruits, vegetables, protein and grains with a smaller circle for dairy. Little info is available about the new icon as only a few would speak anonymously, since they were not authorized by the administration to discuss the topic.

Walter C. Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at Harvard School of Public Health, stated, “It’s going to be hard not to do better than the current pyramid, which basically conveys no useful information.”

According to Dr. David Kessler, former commission of the Food and Drug Administration, the new replacement icon, “conveys the message simply in a way we can all understand.” The previous food pyramid was considered confusing, despite a recent update in 2005.

Post indicated the U.S.D.A. Spent approximately $2 million to develop and promote the new logo to replace the food pyramid. The campaign is being used to convey several health messages such as eating smaller portions, drinking water over sugary drinks, minimizing salt intake and switching to low-fat or fat-free milk.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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