2005_04_food_newpyramid.JPGThe USDA, in its latest attempt to fight obesity, has introduced a new food pyramid to guide us towards healthier eating habits. "My Pyramid" is designed to provide a personalized guide to selecting a healthy balance of foods, proper portion sizes, and one major new component: exercise, illustrated by the figure climbing up the stairs on the side. As the New York Times explains:

This time, the pyramid is a series of vertical color bands of varying widths. The bands of fruits and vegetables combined take up the most space, followed by grains, with the narrowest bands still belonging to fats, oils and sugars. Also new is the stick figure walking up the left side of the pyramid to match the guide's slogan: "Steps to a healthier you."

The new pyramid comes in 12 versions, depending on a person's activity level and caloric need.

The Feds have also given us a website to guide us along in our quest towards better nutrition. MyPyramid.gov is designed to be an interactive site -- it even purports to offer tools that give you an in-depth assessment of your eating and exercise habits, with suggestions on how to change them for the better. Gothamist has tried to explore the site a bit, but has found it a bit sluggish and buggy. As a result, we've decided to ignore the tidbits of advice it offers ("Make half your grains whole!" "Vary your veggies!" "Focus on fruit!") and order in a double-cheeseburger with fries for lunch. We're pretty sure that a good portion of America is likely to do the same.