Senator Carper Highlights New Government Food Icon, MyPlate, to Help Consumers Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) highlighted the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, which serves as a visual cue to encourage consumers to adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MyPlate, which was unveiled yesterday by First Lady Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, will replace MyPyramid as the new generation primary food group symbol to help consumers better incorporate the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups into their meals.  

MyPlate is a helpful tool Americans can use to make healthier meal choices for themselves and their families,” said Sen. Carper. “Following the simple guidelines presented in this new food icon – such as making sure half your plate is comprised of fruits and vegetables – is an easy first step in the right direction toward overcoming our nation’s obesity problem.”  

The MyPlate icon is available to view and download in PDF and JPG formats. In addition, consumers are encouraged to seek more information about healthy eating habits at The website provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education and other user-friendly nutrition information.  

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, launched in January 2011, form the basis of the federal government’s nutrition education programs, federal nutrition assistance programs and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals. The Guidelines messages include:  

Balance Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions  

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.  

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.  

Over the next several years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will work with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’sMove! initiative and public and private partners to promote MyPlate and as well as the supporting nutrition messages and “how-to” resources. Later this year, USDA will unveil an online tool that consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical activity choices.  

As part of this new initiative, USDA is encouraging consumers to share photos of their healthy food plates on Twitter accompanied by the #MyPlate hash tag or on the USDA Flickr Photo Group at  

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