Miami Children's Hospital
Local: 305-666-6511
Toll Free: 800-432-6837
My Kids Patient Portal
Search
Advanced Search

Pediatric Center
In this section

Puberty & Adolescence

Food guide pyramid

  PRINT    
     Bookmark and Share

Definition

The food guide pyramid is designed to help people make healthy food choices.

Alternative Names

MyPyramid

Information

In response to rising obesity rates, the United States Department of Agriculture introduced on April 19, 2005 a revised food guide pyramid called "MyPyramid." The new guide, which replaces the pyramid introduced in 1992, encourages consumers to choose foods geared to their specific calorie needs and adds a new category: regular exercise. The updated symbol includes a picture of a stick figure walking up a set of steps to emphasize physical activity.

Food groups are arranged vertically, instead of horizontally like the older model, and are represented by six different colors:

  • Orange - grains
  • Green - vegetables
  • Red - fruits
  • Yellow - oils
  • Blue - milk products
  • Purple - meats and beans

Foods from each group should be eaten daily. The wider the food group band, the more of that product you should eat, although the widths are a general guide to portion size, not an exact recommendation.

Unlike the old pyramid, which presented its recommendations in servings, the new guide uses terms such as cups and ounces. The guidelines suggest that an average person should eat 3 ounces of whole grain products, 2 cups of fruit, and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. Oils should be used sparingly.

For more information on MyPyramid, visit www.mypyramid.gov.

See also: Balanced diet

References

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 6th ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2005.

Nicklas TA. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: Developing a key message. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105:1418-1424.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial proces and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. ©1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.