Food Pyramid to be Replaced

food pyramid replacedTomorrow the Obama Administration will be unveiling the new symbol of healthy eating, replacing the food pyramid that has been used for the past two decades.  The new symbol aims to be a simpler, plate-shaped representation of how we should be eating, sliced into wedges for the basic food groups.  It will consist of four colored sections, for fruits, vegetables, grains and protein, with fruits and vegetables taking up half of the plate. There will also be a smaller circle aside the plate, representing low-fat dairy products.  The new symbol is expected to be much simpler and easier for consumers to use as a guide compared to today’s pyramid, which is often seen as confusing and flawed.

We asked Dr. Scott Cunneen, Director of Bariatrics at the Cedars-Sinai Center for Weight Loss in Los Angeles, California to comment on the new symbol. He explained how important it is to improve awareness of healthy eating through public education.  “Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the US and developed world despite ever increasing preventive efforts aimed at improving public awareness and healthy behaviors. Improved, effective public education regarding healthy eating is clearly the most important of the many necessary steps needed to effectively tackle this problem,” said Cunneen.

He added that weight loss surgery programs have for many years successfully used a visual tool of labeled, portioned plates which emphasize high protein, high fiber foods as the foundation of their nutritional education programs.

Dr. Cunneen concluded that he believes that the new plate symbol will be an improvement over the current food pyramid, saying “I am confident that the new nutrition plate to be unveiled by Michelle Obama this week, which should more clearly answer the simple question ‘What should my plate look like at any given meal?’ will prove to be a more useful and powerful tool than we have found the outgoing food pyramid to be in guiding healthy eating behaviors.”

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