NEW YORK (MainStreet) – After announcing the death of the traditional food pyramid earlier this week, the United States Department of Agriculture and the White House have released the new icon called MyPlate.

First lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack debuted MyPlate this morning, explaining that the new icon is intended to simplify food choices for everyday Americans and their kids.

“When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew,” the first lady said. “So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates. As long as they’re half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we’re golden. That’s how easy it is.”

MyPlate has taken the previous versions of the food pyramid and simplified the food groups from the original six (fats, dairy, meat, fruit, vegetables and grains) into just five colored categories (vegetables, grains, fruits, protein and dairy). The main message of the USDA’s current food campaign is to make sure half the plate is fruits and vegetables and the other half is grains and proteins.

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In August 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that said medical issues related to obesity cost Americans $147 billion a year. That averages to each obese American spending an extra $1,429 a year on medical issues. The 2010 Dietary Guidleines for Americans, released by the USDA, stress that calorie control and healthy nutrition can help cut the risk of obesity.