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Everyday Wellness in Brecksville: Farewell to the Food Pyramid

The USDA has replaced the "food pyramid" with a new logo and website.

We are so lucky to live in a time and place where food is not scarce. But one downside is that more than one-third of American adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program is one thing that’s being done to help address the problem. And earlier this month, Michelle Obama and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin unveiled the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new food icon, "MyPlate." 

That familiar icon of elementary-school health class, the food pyramid, is gone. 

The new "MyPlate" logo is an illustration of a plate divided into four sections: fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. A small serving of dairy is off to the side of the plate. The new logo incorporates the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as suggested by the USDA. 

Some of the guidelines on the MyPlate website are:

  • Make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains.
  • Choose water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Avoid eating too much.

On the department's interactive website, you can enter personal information, like your age and activity level, and get a customized recommended eating plan. There is also nutritional information for many foods, information on weight loss, physical activity and tips for eating healthy at restaurants

The Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District's school lunch program is aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To better comply with the dietary guidelines, the school system's website says that they have incorporated more whole grains; for example, all pizza is made with whole wheat crust. They also provide seasonal fresh fruit every day and they’ve incorporated legumes, sweet potatoes and vegetarian meals into their menus. 

The dietary guidelines recommend filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, so if you need help working more of them into your diet, you don’t need to look far. , and all have more than 10 different salads on their menus. And and both have an extensive salad bar.

Trying new vegetables and fruits is a good way to make eating them more interesting. To find something unusual, you might want to visit some .

I’m glad that changes are being made to make people more aware of nutrition and that the school my kids go to adheres to the guidelines. I think the plate logo makes more sense than the pyramid, but I don't know if a new logo will change our eating habits. With the state of our collective health, I think it’s definitely worth a try.

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