The New MyPlate Icon: A Tremendous Step Forward for Health and Nutrition

Posted on: June 3rd, 2011 by Arogya World

My PlateYesterday, Thursday, June 2, the United States Department of Agriculture, the US Surgeon General, and First Lady Michelle Obama released the new MyPlate icon for healthy food choices. The elegantly simple icon consists of a plate split into four sections with the two largest consisting of vegetables and whole grains, and the other two sections, only slightly smaller, for fruits and lean proteins. A separate small container is for low-fat dairy. Ideally, the plate should be half full with fruits and vegetables, with the other half containing whole grains and lean proteins.

Already the MyPlate icon has received unanimous praise and commendation from several food industry and health leaders (see link for news release below). We at Arogya World join the list of the new icon’s fans and praise it for its simplicity and sheer elegance and sincerely believe it will go a long way to help people eat healthier meals. It is a remarkable improvement over the previous MyPyramid and clearly emphasizes the cornerstones of a healthy diet. First Lady Michelle Obama puts it well:

“When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates. As long as they’re half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we’re golden. That’s how easy it is” (USDA Release No. 0225.11).

Additionally, the USDA has created an interactive web page (, which will soon have a tool allowing users to actively manage and monitor their food and physical activity choices.

USDA News Releases:

Nutrition, Health and Consumer Advocates Applaud the Launch of the New MyPlate Icon to Help Consumers Make Healthier Food Choices

First Lady, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Surgeon General Benjamin Launch MyPlate Icon as a New Reminder to Help Consumers to Make Healthier Food Choices


By Elizabeth Nussbaumer, an intern for Arogya World. Elizabeth is currently working towards her Master of Public Policy in International Development in Washington, DC.