LOS ANGELES - Farewell food pyramid. Government officials are getting ready to dish out nutritional advice to the nation on a more appetizing platter.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture was set to unveil a replacement to its much-maligned food pyramid this morning, scrapping the rainbow-striped triangle in favor of a simple circle designed to evoke a dinner plate.
"That would go a long way to producing something that is actually useful for nutritionists and dietitians in the United States," said James Painter, a food psychologist and registered dietician at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. The key, he said, is that it would give viewers a quick idea of what their meals should look like at the table.
Half of the circle will be filled with fruits and vegetables, another section will feature rice, cereal and other grains, and the rest will contain proteins like chicken and nuts, according to people who have seen the icon. Off to the side, a smaller circle will represent dairy - think of it as a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt.
The federal government has spent decades trying to represent a healthy diet in a simple graphic and adopted the pyramid back in 1992 after a decade of research.