Food Guides: Out With the Pyramid, In With the Plate—And Don’t Forget the Pagoda

By Valerie Ross | June 2, 2011 5:49 pm

  • Stan Taylor

    What does “My-plate” look like for people with various food allegeries like lactose intollerant, can’t eat anything contain white flour, etc?

  • badnicolez

    Those wedges should be considerably smaller for almost all Americans (unless that’s a really small plate). Filling up our ginormous plates with food is at least half the problem (the other half is the type of food). How many calories is a full plate going to contain with a serving of dairy on the side? Enough for two meals, I’d bet. Even if it is half fruit and veggies, the portions shown are way too large. Most Americans also eat way too many carbs, and this does little to change that.

    Here’s my proposal: half veggies, one quarter lean protein, one eighth fruit and one eighth whole grain or dairy, with a non-caloric beverage (water, tea, herbal tea, coffee), and one serving of nuts for a snack. I frequently serve food in small bowls, because it makes a smaller meal seem more substantial.

    When the government gets serious about obesity, we’ll see federal subsidies go to fruit, veggie, and nut growers in lieu of grain growers.

  • Thomas

    I read hints about this last week and thought a pie chart is still a graph that’s also a full plate that ‘says pile it on’. The actual image isn’t much better, it looks kind of institutional; all it needs is a spork. I was hoping for something like what Finland uses. Really, it’s okay to see ‘plate’ between your food. Maybe make up a bunch of sample plates, with real portions. And point out that second helpings DO count.

  • Solitha

    Geez guys, it’s meant to be proportions, not portion sizes.

    Try actually using the site… it’s quite interactive. It also says, right under the graphic, to avoid oversized portions as well as to eat less.

  • Catherine

    I used to be lactose intolerant. If you drink milk on a regular basis, your stomach tolerance for lactose will increase. Or alternatively, drink camel’s milk.

    If you are allergic to milk products, you can substitute it with soyabean milk. Or rice milk.

    If you are allergic to wheat or gluten products, you can substitute it with rice, or other grain.

    But it’s best to consult a dietitian first.

    I find it weird though… This coming from a place where you can get a fast food burger for less than US$1, but you will have to pay at least US$1.50 for a head of broccoli

  • Archwright

    @Catherine We have a tendency in the US to subsidize the stuff we think is “good.” Because meat and fossil fuels helped make us a developed nation, we subsidized them. We still subsidize them. The time has come where we need to change our subsidies to better reflect healthy nutrition.

  • Person

    What size are the wedges? How big is the plate? GOSH! This blog should be spcific!

  • Brant

    So why is there not a link to the USDA site anywhere in the article? There’s a link to the press release buried in there. Site your sources when you post!

  • Rosa

    As a retired Health Teacher I am wondering why no one thought of this simple graphic before. This is something that kids can relate to. A teacher would still have to address portion size and food problems like allergies but the graphics might mean more to kids than the pyramid of old.

  • http://Discover Mwenda

    The plate needs to have a series on concentric rings therough the food, each ring labeled with a given calories per day / age range, otherwise the plate symbology is no better than the pyramid.

  • Wesley

    It drives home an important message: Almost half of what you eat should be fruits and vegetables! I eat shamefully less than that…..

  • Idlewild

    I think this is way clearer than the ridiculous food pyramid. The servings might seem huge, but I think this is supposed to be a lunch plate…about 9-10 inches across as opposed to a dinner plate, 10-16 inches across (these are very rough estimates). It always seemed to me that the food pyramid was skewed. No one could eat all that food. It would be impossible unless you were, say, a 6’6, 250 pound man who does heavy labor all day.

  • Pete

    Given the number of people who seem to believe that the graphic represents how full one’s plate should be, rather than relative proportions, I breathlessly await complaints about the scarcity of blue dairy products and purple proteins. Doesn’t the government realize that blue milk was served only on Tatooine before Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were killed? 😉


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