Food Pyramid Out, 'My Plate' In for Healthy Eating

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The Agriculture Department announced it is dispensing with the food pyramid as America's symbol for healthy eating in favor of a less confusing health guide.
The pyramid's replacement, "My Plate," was unveiled Thursday by first lady Michelle Obama.

"Parents don't have the time to measure out exactly 3 oz. of protein," Mrs. Obama said as she introduced the new graphic. "We do have time to look at our kids' plates."

"We know Americans want to be healthy, but making those healthy choices is not easy, it's hard," said Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who joined Mrs. Obama and Vilsack to unveil the plate. "We're trying to make it easier."

The new design shows a dinner plate divided into four segments, showing the appropriate portion sizes for fruits grains, vegetables and protein. A cup at the side indicates a portion of dairy.

According to the new guide, people should fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables.

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made it clear that "My Plate" is intended as a suggestion for healthy eating, not direction.

"We are not telling people what to eat, we are giving them a guide," he said. "We're not suggesting they should not have a cookie or dessert, that's not what it's about."

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