The world of American dietetics has undergone a massive change: It has replaced it’s 19-year-old My Food Pyramid with a brand new guide to healthy eating, My Plate. This new format is exactly what it sounds like: a picture of a plate divided into the recommended portions of food groups. It’s a simple tool, brightly coloured, and easy to understand (unlike it’s predecessor).
Years of push for change by American dieticians (the American spelling for dietitian) has yielded little result, until one Mrs. Obama became the First Lady and started her national campaign against obesity. Thank goodness for people in high places who can get the US population moving towards a healthier lifestyle. Too bad Canada doesn’t have a similar person to push through such change. This new food guide is actually part two of her obesity campaign, as she started her Let’s Move program fairly soon after becoming First Lady to promote regular exercise in the lives of children across America.
I like this new model of what a healthy meal looks like. It’s so easy to remember. We of the dietetics world usually recommend thinking of a healthy plate as half veggies, and a quarter each of grain and meat/alternatives (dairy seems to be relegated to breakfast and snacks). Adding fruit to the plate portions allows for more variety in a diet. And of course, healthy snacks throughout the day to keep you from getting hungry (because let’s face it, the average eater doesn’t feel full after a healthy-portion-sized plate).
I sincerely hope that this new food guide model elicits a change towards a healthier diet in American folk. Simplicity has always worked best; increasingly so as our lives get busier and our attention spans shorter (Youtube generation!), and this new My Plate model is just that: simple.