FDA turns food pyramid into a more modern food plate...


2 May 2011
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The food pyramid now belongs to the ancient world.

The new wonder of the modern age of healthy eating is the "food plate," a graphic that represents portions of desirable foods such as fruits and vegetables on a plate that nutritionists hope will be easier to understand.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday released its new symbol of a dinner plate, divided into four sections with fruits and vegetables taking up half the space. Grains and proteins occupy the other half, with grains getting more space than protein. A nearby blue circle represents a dairy serving.

The plate can be seen on the USDA website, www.choosemyplate.gov. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hopes the new guide will be easy for people to understand.

The plate replaces the pyramid, first used in 1992, which USDA officials said was overly complicated and probably was ineffective as obesity rates in the United States have soared.

In Southeast Texas, adult obesity rates are higher than the state average of 27 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines obesity as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.

BMI is calculated from a person's weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that can lead to health problems.

Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and Type 2 diabetes, the CDC said.
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