Off the past few decades, recommendations or advise to the general public about what we should be eating and what we should avoid eating have changed, and then, they've changed again, as, as scientists learn more about what's in the food we eat, and how those components affect our health. Especially in countries like the United States, that have adopted diets that are rich in refined or processed foods. And, for the most part, along with that shift, rates of obesity have increased in these countries. Well, government bodies, like the USDA or the US Department of Agriculture, have tried to address these public health problems by making dietary recommendations easy to understand and widely available to the public. So in 1992, and without giving away my age, this is the one that I remember learning about in my first university courses on nutrition. But in 1992, the USDA released the original food pyramid. It was a simple way of showing people approximately how much of each of the major food groups they should be eating, relative to the other food groups. So, breads and cereals in those days were considered to be sort of the foundation of our diets, in many parts of the world they still are. But because in the US we've kind of gone a bit over board on our consumption of carbohydrates. Especially heavily processed carbohydrates. Our recommendations have changed over the years. And you'll see how. But, basically this was considered the foundation, and that's why this constituted the biggest part of the pyramid in 1992. The next layer was divided into fruits and vegetables. And it was recommended that we eat three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruit every day. The problem was, and the problem still is, that the average American person didn't actually know and is still unclear today on exactly what constitutes a serving. So on this side we had our fruits, and here were our veggies. And we had three to five veggie servings and two to four fruit servings. Then above that, we saw in decreasing quantities on one side protein foods like meats and legumes and eggs. Beans and alternate sources of proteins. And then on the other side of that, we saw dairy products. At the very top, there was this tiny triangle for fats and sweets. And that was meant to suggest to the public that they should eat their cupcakes and drink their soda in moderation. Okay then, in 2005, the USDA's My Pyramid Was released. And I'm intentionally not putting a space between the words My and Pyramid because that's the way it was meant to be written. And it had nice, bright colors and pictures often of the corresponding foods in the groups below the picture, but sometimes the triangle was just left with colors and the words of those groups. So here they are. There were the grains, vegetables, fruit, milk and meat and the alternates or protein foods. And then there was this tiny strip with a picture of a bottle of cooking oil and again that was visually kind of suggesting we limit these sorts of foods in our diet. But by 2005 obesity rates were rising in the US, so the USDA added a flight of stairs. And, and an active person going up those stairs. This was supposed to remind us that even small additions of physical activity, like taking the stairs for example, could add up to health benefits. Now unfortunately, in reality, when overall caloric intake is far too high because of too many processed foods that contain much too much fat and sugar, then it's difficult to completely counteract that with physical activity alone. But, it was a good way to introduce the idea that physical activity was an important part of living a healthy life, and that if one balanced that with a moderate consumption of food that in the end you would end up with a healthy balance. Then enter First Lady Michelle Obama who made it a national priority to address childhood obesity. Thank goodness. And in 2011 we got the USDA's MyPlate. It was a simple visual representation of a single meal, which was nice. In many ways because it suggested that we actually sit down again and eat off of plates instead of consuming our meals at the bus stop or somewhere else on the run. MyPlate was divided into one half fruits and vegetables. And there was also a suggestion that more vegetables be consumed than fruits because the vegetables segment was a bit bigger and then on the other side of the 2011 MyPlate, we see grains, which is nice because it suggests whole grains rather than simple carbohydrates or simple sugars, and also protein at the bottom. And, of course on the top corner there was a circle to represent dairy products in the diet. Now the reason that this representation has been praised, is that, firstly, it's more accepting of diverse food cultures and cuisines, instead of drawing a ham, or a loaf of bread, which might suggest that these are the foods that you should be eating to fulfill your daily protein and grain allocation. This representation doesn't prescribe which foods, it just suggests the types of foods. But if I had, if this were really my plate, if I had, let's say, two or three wishes, I would add a few things. The first thing that I would add is a glass of water. I think we often forget how important water is in our children's diets and even in our own diets. I would also love it if there would be a way to just remind people to keep an eye on portion size. Maybe something like this, which would be a litle reminder. Smaller plates are a great way to control portion sizes in the home, if you use them most of them time. It just sets up a, sort of normal view of what a portion size is or what a reasonable portion is. And then, the last thing I would love to add is some suggestion that variety in, in food and in our diets is a good thing. So maybe a little rainbow on the fruit and vegetables side, or maybe the word, Variety, written in like this. Variety is, is so important because it helps us to avoid any potential toxins in the food that we eat because we're not consuming a lot of a singly type of food. And also, it maximizes the spectrum of micronutrients or vitamins and minerals that we're getting in our foods because we're eating a lot of different types of, of fruits and vegetables. But in general I think a diagram like MyPlate is an effective way to communicate a lot of information to a large number of people across a spectrum of ages and educational backgrounds.