Picture of the MyPyramid food guide symbol

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Available online:

Nutrition experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created MyPyramid. It is for both children and adults. And it's meant to help people control portion sizes and make the healthiest choices possible within groups.

For a personalized food guide, go to the interactive Web site

One size doesn't fit all

MyPyramid symbolizes a personalized approach to healthy eating and physical activity. The symbol was designed to remind people to make healthy food choices and to be active. The different parts of the symbol are described below.

  • Activity: Being active is important.
  • Moderation: Within each group, there are choices that are healthier (little or no solid fats or added sugars) and those that are less healthy (added sugars and solid fats). Choose healthier foods more often and less healthy foods less often.
  • Personalization: The interactive Web site allows you to personalize a food guide pyramid based on your age, your gender, and the amount of physical activity you get.
  • Proportion: Choose foods from the groups with wide bands more often. Eat less from those groups with narrow bands.
  • Variety: Choose foods from all of the food groups.
  • Gradual improvement: Take small steps to improve your diet and lifestyle.

Last Updated: February 6, 2009

Medical Review: Ruth Schneider, MPH, RD - Diet and Nutrition & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Diabetes Educator

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