Posted by: Idioma Extra | June 5, 2011

Monday’s News

USDA Replaces Food Pyramid With a Plate



First lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the USDA will throw out its famous food pyramid (also known as MyPyramid) and replace it with MyPlate.  

The USDA’s food guide has had many looks throughout the years. From 1958 to 1979, the guide was a rectangle that had the “basic four” food groups blocked out: dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables, and breads and cereals. In 1979, a stacked diagram was introduced. It placed fruits and vegetables on the top and meat products on the bottom. Only a year later, the USDA conducted research for a new image after producers of the foods that were placed on the bottom began protesting. The new design was released in 1991 — and then promptly withdrawn and redesigned due to pressures from the meat industry, whose product was recommended only in small quantities. In 1992, the Food Guide Pyramid was released. This pyramid was met with anger from nutritionists, who said it encouraged eating too much grain, which, in turn, encouraged obesity. In 2005, the USDA replaced it with the current symbol: MyPyramid. This version did not favor any of the food groups and also noted the importance of physical activity. Everyone was happy. So why change it now?

In an interview with WebMD, Robert C. Post, deputy director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, said MyPyramid was failing to capture the public’s attention. The new symbol for the USDA’s food guide is meant to inspire the public and actively lead people to make the correct eating choices, particularly in supermarkets and restaurants. The New York Times reports that the pyramid’s replacement will be a “plate-shaped symbol, sliced into wedges for the basic food groups and half-filled with fruits and vegetables.” The wedges will be color coded for fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. According to the Times, there will be a smaller plate next to the large plate that represents dairy. The new symbol is designed to be easily understood at a glance. In his WebMD interview, Mr. Post explained that the new guide will “give people the tools and the opportunities to take action.”

Word of the Day

pyr·a·mid: [pir-uh-mid]
Origin: 1550s (earlier in L. form piramis , late 14c.), from Fr. pyramide  (O.Fr. piramide , 12c.), from L. pyramides , pl. of pyramis  “one of the pyramids of Egypt,” from Gk. pyramis  (pl. pyramides ), apparently an alteration of Egyptian pimar  “pyramid.”

a.(in ancient Egypt) a quadrilateral masonry mass having smooth, steeply sloping sides meeting at an apex, used as a tomb. b.(in ancient egypt and pre-Columbian Central America) a quadrilateral masonry mass, stepped and sharply sloping, used as a tomb or a platform for a temple.
2. anything of such form.
3.a number of persons or things arranged or heaped up in this manner: a pyramid of acrobats; a pyramid of boxes.
4. a system or structure resembling a pyramid, as in hierarchical form.
5. Geometry, a solid having a polygonal base, and triangular sides that meet in a point.
6. Crystallography, any form the planes of which intersect all three of the axes.
7. Anatomy, Zoology. any of various parts or structures of pyramidal form.
8. Also called pyramid scheme. a scheme that pyramids, as in speculating on the stock exchange or writing a chain letter.
9. a tree pruned or trained to grow in conical form.
10. pyramids, ( used with a singular verb ) British . a form of pocket billiards for two or four players in which 15 colored balls, initially placed in the form of a triangle, are pocketed with one white cue ball.
–verb (used without object)
11. to take, or become disposed in, the form of a pyramid.
12. Stock Exchange . (in speculating on margin) to enlarge one’s operations in a series of transactions, as on a continued rise or decline in price, by using profits in transactions not yet closed, and consequently not yet in hand, as margin for additional buying or selling in the next transaction.
13. to increase gradually, as with the completion of each phase: Our problems are beginning to pyramid.
–verb (used with object)
14. to arrange in the form of a pyramid.
15. to raise or increase (costs, wages, etc.) by adding amounts gradually.
16. to cause to increase at a steady and progressive rate: New overseas markets have pyramided the company’s profits.
17.Stock Exchange . (in speculating on margin) to operate in, or employ in, pyramiding.

More Vocabulary

Capture: v. to captivate and hold the interest of
Dairy: adj.
of, for, or pertaining to milk, cream, butter, cheese, etc.
Grain: adj.
of, for, or pertaining to milk, cream, butter, cheese, etc.
Obese: adj.
very fat or overweight; corpulent
USDA: abbr.
United States Department of Agriculture
Wedge: n.
a piece of anything of like shape

Love those Phrasal Verbs

Block out: to sketch or outline roughly or generally, without details
She blocked out a color scheme for the interiors.


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