First lady and healthy living advocate Michelle Obama made public the new USDA Food icon Thursday, replacing the decades old food pyramid. The new logo, called "My Plate," shows the layout of a placemat with sections of the circular plate representing portions of fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, with a side of dairy.
Last year's White House task force on childhood obesity reported the need to simplify the way nutritional information is distributed.
" We realized we needed something that made sense not just in classrooms or laboratories but at dinner tables and school cafeterias," Mrs. Obama said. "That's why I like the ‘my plate' approach so much," she said, "because when it comes to eating, what's more useful than a plate?
The first lady joined Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin who praised the new poster as a preventative health care measure and a reminder to consumers to make healthier choices about their food portions.
But "My Plate" does not include any of the fats, oils and sweets that the original emblem depicted. The food pyramid contained a group for these "bad" foods at the top of the pyramid, the smallest section with the guideline to "use sparingly." There's no dessert on "my plate."