Dairy bumped from USDA’s “dinner plate”

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Dairy will not be on the plate Thursday when the USDA unveils a new image to replace the iconic food pyramid. 

Instead, dairy will occupy a satellite position to the side of the plate.

According to one dairy industry spokesperson, the new image in no way diminishes the importance of dairy in a healthy diet.

“We think the new graphic really draws attention to dairy,” says Ann Marie Krautheim, registered dietitian and senior vice president of nutrition affairs for the National Dairy Council. “It does not get lost with the other food groups,” she adds. “The location on the graphic really draws the eye, and dairy does stand out as an essential part of a healthy eating plan.”

Krautheim says the graphic also emphasizes the versatility of dairy foods. “Dairy can be a glass of milk, it can be a cup of yogurt, and it also can be cheese,” she says. “It’s very versatile and can be worked into a healthy meal in a variety of ways.”

On Jan. 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, issued a new set of dietary guidelines which reaffirmed earlier guidelines for dairy foods. In fact, for one age group — children aged 4-8 — the recommendation was increased from two servings of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products to 2.5 servings.

Yet, many Americans are not meeting the current guidelines.     

The USDA won’t officially reveal its new “dinner plate” image until Thursday. But some news outlets, including CNN, have shown what they believe will be the image — a plate divided into four quadrants: fruits, vegetables, grains and protein (meat and beans). Dairy occupies a circle to the upper right of the plate.

Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent for CNN, referred to it as “a little bit of dairy off to the side.”  For more, click here.

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Philip Lewis    
Salem, NY  |  June, 01, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Really? Dairy removed from the pyramid? And the "spinners" tell us that it does not diminish the USDA's perception of dairy being an important element of good nutrition. How about some more manure? Dairy farmers are in denial ... the USDA is the enemy of dairy farming. The USDA just doesn't bother to admit their anti-milk bias.

November, 03, 2012 at 01:18 AM

The harsh reality is that dairy, and wheat, are in fact bad for most people in the long term. Sorry folks. Epidemiological evidence supports this.

Hubbardsville, NY  |  June, 02, 2011 at 07:36 AM

So removing dairy from the pyramid & changing the style is going to some how dramatically change waistlines in america. Fellow americans will suddenly become healthy eaters with ideal body weights. Interesting and all this time I was thinking it had everything to do with too much food & little to no activity that is the contributing factor not DAIRY, this is just another blow to the farmers, where do people think they will get their food when the last farmer sells out? Thats right importing and of course genetically grown food.

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