I suppose the recent Egypt-centric focus on food consumption had to end eventually.  The 'food pyramid' you have seen for decades, craftily negotiated by food lobbyists, is being replaced by...a pie.   First Lady Michelle Obama is on a war against obesity and she will fight over food. Pres. Obama warned us, "You do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale" and the new dietary guideline shape is the latest weapon.

Certainly it makes sense, that not-to-scale pyramid had some bizarre range of servings and made little sense and it got worse over time.    Look at this bizarre H.R. Pufnstuf-inspired bit of psychedelia from 2005:


Never saw it before?  No one did,and no one used it either.   American politicians lifted the idea of the early 1990s one, shown here...

...from the Swedes, who have an even higher rate of heart disease than the US, so that made little sense also.    Yes, the Swedes put the stuff you're not supposed to eat at the top.  And so did we.  Maybe you can look at it as a foundation but most people look at the top as being the best so it was generally nonsensical.

They don't want you to call the new shape a pie, of course.  They want you to look at it as a plate, which is certainly more intuitive than a pyramid.  We won't know until Thursday what it actually looks like.

Pies, plates, we don't need those or fancy pyramids.  Wilbur Olin Atwater, Ph.D., an agricultural chemist for the USDA wrote the first government dietary guidelines in 1902 and they still make sense today; watch the calories, include proteins, beans, and vegetables and limit the intake of fat, sugar and other starchy carbohydrates.   

principles of nutrition and nutritive value of food wilbur atwater USDA

Atwater was right.  Who knew anyone knew anything in the 20th century?  In every study done on obesity - 100% - people who consumed fewer calories than they burned lost weight.  It's a science miracle!

Read more:

USDA food pyramid history

See how your diet stacks up against USDA recommendations at MyPyramid Tracker - a login is necessary but if you can tolerate the annoyance, it's worth it.