MyPlate replaces MyPyramid

by Sandy Todd Webster on Aug 23, 2011

Food for Thought

The much-maligned USDA food pyramid was replaced in June by the U.S. government’s new MyPlate, timed to coincide with the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs).

This new national nutrition model makes a notable departure from the meat/beef protein- and dairy-heavy models of the past that were often criticized for supporting the interests of big agriculture. Here are MyPlate’s main changes from models of yesteryear:

  • It is easy to grasp, even for children.
  • Vegetables constitute the largest sector.
  • Together, vegetables and fruits make up half the plate.
  • You can place your choice of foods on the plate.
  • You don’t have to count servings or worry about portion sizes (if the plate isn’t too big).
  • Dairy foods—a discretionary group—are off to the side.

Have you had a chance to read the new DGAs or to study the MyPlate model? We would love to hear your thoughts on them and learn if you use either MyPlate or the new DGAs as a resource for clients. Send your comments to

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.