Monday, October 10, 2011

My Pyramid out, Michelle Obama's My Plate in

When it comes to food we don't like to be told what to do.

That brings us to Michelle Obama reinventing the plate, with yet another solution to America's obesity problem, and she believes it's as easy as replacing the pyramid with My Plate.

It seems the 'My Pyramid' was too difficult for people to understand.
Apparently, obesity continues because people couldn't grasp the concept that foods at the higher, narrower end of the pyramid are foods that should be eaten in rare moderation.

So the original 1992 food pyramid (above photo) displaying the foods you should eat sparingly at the top and those in abundance at the bottom was dismissed.

The original food pyramid was replaced by the My Pyramid (above photo) in 2005 which stresses the importance of exercise, but the My Plate does not.

But never fear, the new My Plate which shows how much of each food type you should eat on a pie shaped circle. with a serving of dairy on the side

And the 'My Plate' is suppose to simply things to show that nutrition does not have to be confusing.

The My Plate is a pie shaped plate divided up into sections with contain fruits, vegetables, protein and grains.

USDA officials believed the pyramid was tired out, too difficult and confusing.

Michelle Obama said: 'When it comes to eating, what's more useful than a plate, what's more simple than a plate? The new design is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods we’re eating.'

Robert Post of USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion said: 'It's grabbing the consumers' attention that we are after this time, not making it so complicated that perhaps it is a turnoff. There is something really inviting about this familiar setting for meal time.'

It took Mr Post two years develop this simple plate.
He said the new chart is designed to be 'more artistic and attractive' and to serve as a visual cue for diners.

No more references to sugars, fats or oils, and the category called 'meat and beans' is now referred to as 'proteins'.
Right next to the plate is a blue circle, that means dairy, which could be a glass of milk or perhaps cheese.

Yes, the plate is divided into four sections, but the servings aren't supposed to be proportional because each person has different nutritional needs, based on age, health and other factors.

Surprising as it may seem, My Plate has not been well received by everyone.

Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at Harvard University, said it is far from ideal because it does not tell people which foods are good and bad to eat.

He said: 'To make informed choices, people will need additional information. It really makes a difference whether the grains you eat are whole grains or refined grains.

'It makes a huge difference what kind of proteins are being consumed — to be healthy, we need to be replacing the meat with a mix of chicken, nuts and legumes.'

The smaller dairy circle, he added, could be misleading.

He said, 'It implies there should be a glass of milk or some dairy at every meal and there's no evidence to show that that's beneficial.'

Even though the First Lady supports the new plate, she even admits that the My Plate has problems.
It doesn't include exercise, and that's part of her 'Move' campaign

After two years designing the plate, Mr Post felt he needed to defend his design saying: 'Our approach here is to make it very simple. One icon cannot deliver everything a consumer needs to know.'
She has been quite outspoken about people eating too much fatty food and her quest for better nutrition.

While First Lady, who may support the new plate, has been criticized for not practicing what she preaches when it comes to her health food doctrine.

As an example, in the photo below, we see the first lady at a small restaurant in a Botswanan village to eat fat cakes and French fries.

Perhaps the plate illustration below is more believable.