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Have you also noticed that our cherished, middle school food pyramid has literally disappeared from the face of the earth? The graph we used to study in school and see in our doctor’s office has since 2011 been replaced by a plate-shaped nutrition guide, and we’re investigating why.

Trends and advice on healthy eating have gone through a lot of changes over the years, and since the 1940s, the US government has said to have changed the official eating guidelines at least 10 times, including the shape, categories and overall focus of the food guidelines showing an overall shift in our diets and what is considered healthy. 

I started asking myself how, though I understand that diets go through trends, as I recently talked to you about my new obsession with the time restrictive eating diet, nutritionists, doctors and people with power had the ability to change our nutrition guidelines that easily? And what could possibly be the reason for all those changes?

Until I finally realised that all this work wasn’t for their own benefit, but for our own, as we shouldn’t forget that obesity has tripled in number since the mid 70s therefore showing a lack of knowledge and interest in our society regarding healthy habits. Explaining the reason why nutritionist keep looking for ways to keep our society on a knowledgable and healthy path.

From my research, I can simply deduct that the reason why our food pyramid is now in the shape of a plate is to help the population eat in a healthier way, but also to use the products which are either accessible or “trending” and that people will more or less easily be able to include them in their diets.

I was actually surprised to find out that the food pyramid as we used to know it, was the first approach to helping the world adopt what nutritionists are calling a “total diet” approach. It was used to break down the number of recommended daily services into six categories (dairy, vegetables, fruits, proteins, carbs, fats and sugars) and usually found in most schools and doctors’ offices around the world.

This initial food pyramid was then transformed into what was called My Pyramid in 2005 which then turned into the most recent guide created in 2011, called My Plate. The latest, My Plate, was created by the Agriculture Department who wanted to help the anti-obesity and federal health officials battle this issue with malnutrition. These two latest, what you could call recommended diets, focus on four main food groups: vegetables, fruits, proteins and grains. Meaning that from 2002 to 2011, the groups have decreased the food categories from 6 to 4.

“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating,” said Mrs. Obama during a presentation of My Plate in Washington in June 2011. “We’re all bombarded with so many dietary messages that it’s hard to find time to sort through all this information, but we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates.”

Nutritionist often criticised the structure of the original food pyramid for being misleading and hard to understand, and they’re now hopeful that the plate-like structure of My Plate will encourage people to make half of their plate fruit and vegetables, but also watch their portions, eat less and drink more water.

The new plate design is also believed to be much clearer for the consumer, especially in regards to the vague labelling of “protein” on the old food pyramid which people found confusing and unnecessary, as they seem to identify much more easily, according to studies, to grains and dairy products as being good sources of proteins.

After a few hours of research, I actually realised how normal it was that our recommend food pyramid had changed. People are eating less dairy and replacing it with other types of milk; more and more people frequently adapt to new plant-based diets, so why wouldn’t recommended health trends and guides change as well?

What do you think would help you and the rest of the world adopt a more balanced diet? Is seeing this healthy recommended plate diagram on the packaging of your food helping you or do you think there could be a better way to invite the population to have a healthier and more balanced diet? Do let us know in the comments, but in the meantime, let’s celebrate the beginning of spring with some light and sheer fabrics, shall we?

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