MyPlate's birthday is here! It was exactly one year ago today that the USDA released its new food icon. How are you going to celebrate MyPlate's birthday?
Food Icon History: Blast from the Past
Back in 1956, "Food for Fitness" was the USDA chart du jour. This chart is perhaps most famous for cementing the idea of “food groups” in the American consciousness. It introduced four main groups for food -- milk, meat, vegetable/fruit, and bread/cereal.
In 1992, the USDA began ranking food groups. This was the first food pyramid. The food groups were further broken down and serving sizes begin to play a larger role. Meats, milks, fats, and sugars resided higher up on the pyramid and required fewer servings per day. However, what a serving entails wasn’t entirely clear at this point.
In 2005, the USDA adjusted the pyramid to reflect the importance of exercise. This change also corresponded with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans update. A government website was released in conjunction with this pyramid, so that people could go online and get personalized recommendations. The new pyramid didn’t say that one food was better than another -- instead, it demonstrated how many servings people should get from each group. This was done without rankings.
On June 2, 2011, the USDA released MyPlate, replacing the pyramid with an image of a plate. The colorful icon was well-received and provided a new way to explore balanced, healthful eating. How has MyPlate affected you?
Want More MyPlate?
Check out our Nutrition Education Store for more MyPlate resources. We offer a wide variety of games, posters, handouts, presentations, books, and even cartoons! Visit our store today! You can also drop by Twitter for some fun new MyPlate trivia questions.
Here are the latest tweets from the MyPlate team:
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.