First lady unveils new food guidelines
June 2nd, 2011
12:36 PM ET

First lady unveils new food guidelines

In an effort to fight America’s obesity epidemic, first lady Michelle Obama Thursday unveiled a new way for Americans to look at food and food portions.  It's called MyPlate.

"We needed something useful, something simple," Mrs. Obama noted. "And that's why I like the MyPlate approach so much because when it comes to eating, what's more useful than a plate? "

Joining her in the announcement were Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

MyPlate will take the place of the current USDA's Food Pyramid, which has been around since 1992 and was updated in 2005. Over the years, many nutritionists have criticized the Food Pyramid as being too complicated for most Americans to understand. Officials believe by replacing the pyramid with a plate, eating healthier will become much easier.

"It's difficult for people in a busy life. You're trying to take care of the kids, you're trying to get meals on the table," Vilsack said. " Sometimes it's hard. The plate basically is a very simple visual that reminds you of what that balanced meal consists of."

MyPlate looks like a circle graph. It's divided into three parts: one half represents vegetables or fruits, one quarter protein, one quarter grains and a small side of dairy outside of the plate. It’s accessible to everyone by logging onto the website.

The diagram is designed to be a simple way to show Americans what a daily balanced diet looks like. "It's an opportunity for you to have a constant reminder as you look at your own plate whether your portion sizes are right, whether you've got enough fruits and vegetables on that plate,” Vilsack said.

The percentages are based on the dietary guidelines set by the USDA. Healthy recipes, along with daily nutrition tips will accompany the icon on the website. MyPlate will also be integrated into the public school breakfast and lunch programs, so children will have a better understanding why certain foods are healthier for them.

Topics: Michelle Obama

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Bonnie Minsky

    In general, MyPlate is a vast improvement from MyPyramid. There is, however, one glaring omission: healthy fats. One cannot exist optimally without healthy fats. In a perfect world, they should have cut down on the portion of grains and added a section for healthy oils. This was a huge misstep. Hopefully, they will put this in the next version. That said, they have come a long way and the First Lady and Secretary Vilsack should be commended.

    Bonnie Minsky
    Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist

    June 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      I am confused by your comment, on one hand you eloquently point out the omission of fats yet call this a vast improvement. There are many other problems with this logo, first it reminds me of the segmented trays used in public schools, but more importantly it may inform but does not educate. Question, which section do we place beans and potatoes? The old pyramid did have problems, however it also educated the public. All I have learned from this plate is that proteins are purple.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  2. Jay in NC

    In this picture The First Date looks drunk. She is an embarrassment to our country.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  3. Laura

    This lady better look at her own plate......I will eat what I want, when I want and how I want. No one in this land of the freedom and home of the brave is going to tell me how to eat. If I die from obesity, it is my fault, if I die from a heart attack it is my fault. If I die from Cholesterol, it is my fault. But I am not going to have someone shove something down my throat that I don't like. I am a pretty healthy person for eating junk food, I just eat it in moderation.

    Mrs. Obama, practice what you preach......

    I haven't been to the doctor in almost 20 years and the only reason I went to the doctor is to get a physical done, guess what. The doctor told me I had amazing health.

    So stick it up where the sun don't shine.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  4. Carey

    The Portion Plate applauds the USDA for introducing MyPlate in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. The Portion Plate has been doing it all along!

    June 3, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  5. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, ya see what I mean? That nasty remark about the First Lady has nothing to do with political policies! It's just another devious, dismissive slight, like most of the rest of them you've posted on your perpetual mission to continually scandalize this woman no matter what she says or does! It's always something! Who's the 'embarrasment to the country'? Furthermore, if there WAS an iota of any possibility of truth in what you are alluding to, she could always sign up at the First Lady BETTY FORD'S CENTER!

    June 3, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Jay in NC

      And your comment about BETTY FORD'S CENTER was for what reason? I read your other post where you used the word you to incite that all white people are responsible for killing MLK. Racist Liz.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Laura, I'm sure Michelle isn't EVEN trying to force one thing down your gluttonous throat! She is just presenting alternatives for healthier eating for all AMERICANS as a whole, IF they want to take part in healthier living! You can eat yourself into 'junk food oblivion' if you want! It's also your choice to die and end up in heaven or hell! There are those two existances whether you believe it or not. I get so sick and tired of you loons acting like she's mandating you to eat anything! NO SUN'S IN HELL!

    June 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  7. Laura

    @Liz Carter

    For one thing she is trying to force people to eat the healthier foods. And another thing, I am not a glutton, you are a glutton for voting for her Muslim husband into office for presidency. Yes, I will eat my junk food all I want, you know why, because it makes me happy to eat my junk food, I am not the type to eat the healthiest and then die anyways. I want to live happy and be happy and that is just what I am doing......I bet you live a very unhappy life. And I will die here in hell and then move up to heaven because I believe in God.

    For one thing, what I said in my post was an opinion, you have yours and I have mine, you could have stated your own opinion but you had to remark about mine.

    Hell will be happy to have you.

    June 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Laura; that was not an opinion! It read more like a 'dig'. She's forcing you to eat what she says, huh? No I don't think so. I explained to you my opinion of what I thought she was trying to do. You said she can 'stick it up where the sun don't shine'?!? I know exactly where that is; so I decided to name a place that I know it doesn't shine. Did that bother you? I believe in GOD and was brought up believing in HIM. That's exactly why I detest and will rebutt blatant evilness towards anyone at all costs.

    June 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  9. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Furthermore, my voting for her husband had nothing to do with the comment I made about her and what I thought she was doing. I will vote for him again, OK? Hes NOT Muslim! However, if he was a Muslim, so what?!? We've had presidents whose religious affiliations were of Catholic, Episcopalian, Quaker, and one or two aspiring Mormons and Jewish! So what? Isn't Islam also one of AMERICA'S 'melting pot' religions? OMG, looking at what has happened to this nation under or in the name of CHRISTIANITY, why not?

    June 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, I'm sure you know exactly why I made the comment; you're a 'smart' man! However, my reason was in reference to the second comment on this thread; your 'First Date' dig! You've worked so hard to demean her as the FIRST LADY of the UNITED STATES, so I thought I'd just give you a little 'flashback' LOL! Hater Jay! Oh, I did NOT say that ALL white people killed MLK! There were too many sympathetic, intelligent, courageous, sane, God-fearing ones who were beat and even killed alongside him! THANK YOU ALL!

    June 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    ....and I've told you over and over again, if my pointing out racism or being able to discern it's covert bottomline in the language of commenters, being able to 'pick it apart' from the many smokescreens racists throw out under the cover of politics, lies and rhetorical BS, makes me a 'racists', then I will accept that label coming from you Jay. I know you don't want to own up to what racism nor what a real racist is! 'We have risen above it, hadn't we'? Yeah Right! I'll take it, you won't 'boo' me down!

    June 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  12. maikl


    June 4, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Were you in America when the gasoline prices went up and when gas even dried up throughout the country under the BUSH administration? Oh, and that happened even after the IRAQ invasion! You know the IRAQ WAR? Where he cyphened all the OIL he could take and HUSSEIN? Have you just now decided on buying groceries in an American grocery store to just now be noticing food prices? They have steadily been rising for years; mainly because of the natural disasters like floods, extreme heat, and fires; not OBAMA!

    June 6, 2011 at 9:53 am |