The U.S. Department of Agriculture has thrown out the "Food Pyramid", which was designed to show Americans how to choose the most nutritious foods.  In its place, the department has adopted a new approach it calls "MyPlate".

“My Plate” — a simple circle divided into quadrants that contain fruits, vegetables, protein and grains — will replace USDA’s food pyramid, which has been around in various forms since 1992.  It comes with an accompanying website.

USDA officials say the pyramid was tired out, overly complex and tried to communicate too many different nutrition facts at once.  The new symbol is simple and gives diners a clear idea of what should be on their plates at the dinner table.

The department is planning to use social media as one way of grabbing attention, posting advice every day on Twitter, for example.  There's also a website that will eventually feature interactive tools that will help people manage their weight and track exercise.

Here's the link to the website:

Officials are praising the new approach. Robert Post of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion says MyPlate is designed to be “more artistic and attractive” and serve as a visual cue for diners.

via First lady, USDA throw out food pyramid for MyPlate | Newswatch | a Chron.com blog.

This is USDA's latest effort to get people to make healthier food choices and be active every day. MyPlate is replacing MyPyramid, which was adopted in 2005 to replace the old Food Guide Pyramid.