Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'll have MyPlate and eat it too!

I wrote the following as a response to this article and to a student who I overheard in the hallway of the conference center (BYU campus) saying how she thought MyPlate was dumb. I would have written more, but I had to keep it under 250 words, so enjoy my soapbox rant:


The anti-MyPlate responses are really starting to bum me out.

MyPlate is much clearer to the average food consumer, young and old.

The Food Pyramid served its purpose, but when compared to MyPlate, it was more complicated! For example, how many of us actually counted our 6-11 servings allotment of the Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta group and adjusted for our body size, condition, fitness goals, as well as studied labels to understand portion size and then consumed accordingly?

Most Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables! This new food plate clearly shows that a balanced meal includes half of a plate full of fruits and vegetables. Most Americans also eat way too many refined, over-processed, nutrient-void grains. Carbs can and should be our friends, but the recommendation is that at least half of the grains consumed should be whole grains. Eat lean protein, drink lean milk, limit high sodium foods, avoid oversized portions, and drink more water—MyPlate isn’t overly simplistic; it is revolutionary because of its simplicity.

There is genius in simplicity! The principle of Occam’s razor seems to apply well here. Both the Food Pyramid and MyPlate are useful daily food guides, but the simpler explanation, MyPlate, is better because it is a more useful teaching tool. Because it is easier to remember and understand, it has a greater power to help us to make smarter food choices.

The Food Pyramid just wasn’t getting the job done.


I read this article written by Jillian Michaels after I wrote the above response. I didn't particularly care for it. Here was my facebook comment about it:

Emily Marie Woolstenhulme Harper
But if you resent the implication that Americans are stupid, then aren't we smart enough to use MyPlate as our springboard for making better food choices? Those who could care less about nutrition may at least be able to make a small change with MyPlate, and those of us who are more nutrition-conscious are smart enough to empower ourselves with the further knowledge needed to make the best food choices. The government is not responsible for forcing us to make better choices, though sometimes I wish I could force my husband. ;) See More
Yesterday at 2:05pm · LikeUnlike ·
7 people like this.

Yes, that was a whole seven people who liked my comment! Ha ha. I think Jill did have some good points, but I didn't really agree with most of it.

I have more to say on the matter, but who wants to read long blogs? Not me.
For the record, I like The First Lady's approach to encouraging more activity and better nutrition, particularly among kids. I especially liked her commercials about playing basketball that ran during the NBA playoffs. Made me smile inside!

The end.



Bridget said...

Well said! Ditto to this.
It really should be obvious that the pyramid wasn't getting the message across correctly, and MyPlate is something simple that children can actually relate to. Food in a pyramid seems foreign to kids. Food on a plate is something they relate to because they use something similar at every meal.

Johnson Family said...

My vote (this is Devin) is that Dairy and Grains become one (ummmm mashed potatoes) the fruit is in the cup (ummm juice) the protein takes over the fruits spot (ummm chicken) and the vegetables get a little dairy themselves (ummm cheese)...



Barbara Bakes said...

I'm sure we'll see actual plates in stores before too long. A good reminder never hurts.