The food pyramid released by the US Department of Agriculture is a guideline of daily servings to make sure people get well-rounded nutritious dietary intake. Due to the change in needs for the American people and the rise of obesity, the food pyramid was revised in 2011.
The food recommends certain daily values for wheats and grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fats/oils. In January 2011, First Lady, Michelle Obama released the new pyramid which prompted the launch of choosemyplate.gov, which aims to help Americans figure out how apply that to their lives. Rather than one generic pyramid for everyone, the new food pyramid takes into account life stages such as: children, toddlers, pregnant women and breastfeeding women, and adults.
Not only does the new 2011 food pyramid have servings listed; it gives examples of how those portions should look on your plate and what constitutes a serving. The new guidelines for healthy eating include a new symbol—a plate containing half fruits and vegetables, the other half grains and protein, with a smaller plate or cup representing dairy. The thinking behind this was rather than having consumers trying to read the packages and discern nutritional fact labels, by explaining a healthy diet based on what it should look like on a plate, Americans will be empowered to make better nutritional choices.
With the Obama administration’s focus on healthcare and America’s rise in obesity related illnesses, the new dietary guidelines are a way to help people make better choices. In addition to eating well, exercise is emphasized. Studies have shown that a number of illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and some accompanying breathing disorders like sleep apnea are linked to obesity in both adults and children. These studies have shown remarkable differences in patients who changed their diet and exercised in either lessening symptoms or reversing these disorders by losing weight.
The food pyramid has long been entangled in controversy with some groups asserting that the US Department of Agriculture have been lobbied to include more portions or certain colors to make certain food groups standout by special interests groups. The new solution eliminates these assertions and has so far found success with an easy to use and teach format.
- Nutrition Pyramid 2012 (ehomedoctor.org)