The USDA’s replacement for the ubiquitous food pyramid — MyPlate — is “designed to be more artistic and attractive and to serve as a visual cue for diners,” said Robert Post of the Agriculture Department's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.” First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack unveiled the symbol earlier this month. Adds Surgeon General Regina Benjamin: “The new icon is simple and easy to understand, with more emphasis placed on fruits and vegetables.” The plate-shaped diagram, essentially in the form of a pie chart, may give Americans an easier way to envision a mix of food groups on plates or in bowls; the groups have been rearranged in an effort at user-friendly design. An extensive program of print collateral and interactive materials have also been developed by the agency. Early design commentators approve — the old MyPyramid branding was considered confusing — but note that a simple pie chart would have been more conventional to show relationships of elements in a circular form.
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