So Long Food Pyramid, Hello MyPlate

Image from the USDA's website

Today the New York Times reported that the Department of Agriculture created a new model for healthy eating, called MyPlate to replace the outdated (and often harshly criticized) Food Pyramid.

The plate is part of a campaign to combat childhood obesity in America and encourage Americans to make healthier choices regarding food. First lady, Michelle Obama, is of course the main spokesperson for this campaign, which will first focus on incorporating more fruits and vegetables into people’s daily diets (half a plate should be of fruits and vegetables), and then emphasize portion control and water consumption.

Most Americans have heard that obesity is a growing problem in our country. According to the CDC, “During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.”

I hope MyPlate helps in educating more Americans on the importance of a healthy diet. As much as I love to indulge in food, there are very real health risks for those who fail to take nutrition seriously. As a communications professional, I’m also excited to see what other great resources this campaign will bring, how many people it will reach, and what effect it will have on obesity rates in the future, especially among the youth.