Reshaping the Food Pyramid

The USDA Works to Modernize the Geometry of Nutrition

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The food pyramid.

The food pyramid is being modernized, as the USDA considers what healthy eating means. U.S. Department of Agriculture hide caption

itoggle caption U.S. Department of Agriculture

We're all familiar with the food pyramid, the federal government's pictorial guide for nutritional health that showcases the four major food groups in order of importance and proportion. Recently, the USDA announced the 12-year-old visual aid is under review. Come early next year, the guide, buttressed by new science, will be revamped and could lose its triangular shape altogether. The overhaul is in reaction to growing concerns that, while 80 percent of Americans recognize the food pyramid, few heed its recommendations, as evidenced by our thickening waistlines.

Changes won't come easily. The process involves several key players, not to mention the general public, and the stakes are high. NPR's Neal Conan and guests try to make sense of the competing messages about what we eat.

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