Food - Drink
How The Food Pyramid Has Changed Over Time
When you picture the famous USDA-designed food pyramid, you'll likely think of the 1992-era pyramid, with six food groups divided into four levels. However, this pyramid is no longer accurate and was changed in 2005, then completely replaced with a new, non-pyramid format for today's American consumers.
The earliest USDA diet guide, the "Basic 7," was introduced in 1943 and urged Americans to eat a balanced diet during wartime, with the motto "U.S. Needs Us Strong." This system had some bizarre food groups, such as one group consisting only of oranges, tomatoes, grapefruit, and greens, and another that was only "butter and fortified margarine."
The more well-known 1992 food pyramid had six food groups and minimized fats while maximizing complex carbohydrates. After criticism, especially over the demonization of fats, the pyramid was revised in 2005 to distinguish between different types of fats and add exercise as a "group," but this model was seen as confusing.
In 2011, the USDA scrapped the pyramid and replaced it with MyPlate under Michelle Obama's initiative to combat obesity. This visual guide shows a plate divided into four groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, and grains, plus a cup of dairy on the side; vegetables are given the largest portion of the plate, while sugar and fats have been axed entirely.