USDA is may replace the familiar Food Pyramid and replace it with something that will better motivate Americans to eat healthy diets.
While 80 percent of the nation recognizes the pyramid, two-thirds are overweight or obese, according to a USDA spokesman.
"We seem to lack that last step: `How do I take it and make a behavior change?'" says Eric Hentges, director of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, in describing the shortcoming of the government's food pyramid.
Beyond the pyramid, the government offers a wealth of information to people about how to eat right, including recommendations on how much to eat and how physical activity works off calories.
For example, a USDA Web site lets users create their own eating plan to see how it matches with government dietary guidelines. Another site lets users see how many calories they can burn through various forms of exercise.
Officials are looking for a new symbol to replace the Food Guide Pyramid, adopted in 1992, or at least a catchy slogan that would entice people to explore for further information on how to improve their diets.
The dietary guidelines are being reviewed by an advisory committee organized by the Department of Health and Human Services. A revised version is expected out in early 2005.
You can read more about the food pyramid at:http://www.usda.gov/cnpp/pyramid.html