If you haven’t heard, last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched the new graphic for the dietary American guidelines that replaces the food pyramid. Even the website “mypyramid.gov” is now redirected to “choosemyplate.gov”.
MyPlate icon is simple, clear and will be useful to guide people at the time of serving their food. It is a plate split into four sections, each representing a different food group: “protein”, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A circle shape next to the plate represents dairy products (milk). If you are online, by clicking on each section of the plate you will get more information about each food group.
I think it is more user friendly than the pyramid, but the pyramid was more comprehensive. “Time will tell if this new icon helps people to better understand vital nutritional messages of balance, variety, moderation and adequacy,” said registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association President Sylvia A. Escott-Stump.
I agree with some colleagues with the fact that there are many flaws in the new design. For example, protein is a nutrient and not a food, fats are not included, physical activity is not represented; the plate is completely full with no white spaces (a big portion?), etc. But, I also acknowledge that is hard to find the perfect design.
In Argentina, we use the Argentinean dietary guidelines (Guias Alimentarias para la Poblacion Argentina) that were developed by local dietitians. A graphic represents all the food groups, which are classified according to their nutrient content and a faucet highlights the importance of water. These guidelines also provide key nutrition messages for the Argentinean population.
t’s also true that no matter how well designed is the icon; if it is not combined with other nutrition education efforts it will hardly be successful.
What you think about these two tools?
Global dietitians is a fun place to share and network between for food and nutrition professionals from around the world. Made for dietitians by dietitians.