Finally, the USDA has gotten rid of that reverse-hierarchized nonsense with its unclear 'servings' numbers. While I don't condone the idea that every meal must be made up of the same balance of foods, nor that people should be browbeaten into doing it 'right' every time, the new "my plate" system has some positive aspects. The presentation is attractive and clear, with a model plate as pie-chart presenting the basic recommended amount of types of foods. They are presented as equally important but in slightly different portion sizes. Fruits and vegetables take up half on their own, replacing the 'grain foundation' of yore (of course most human diets *have* a carb foundation so there's an interesting prescriptive-descriptive tension going on). The drawing makes the veggie part of the recommendations seem more manageable than telling us to eat five servings a day. The part that confuses me, though, is that there is a spot on the plate for 'protein' and then a glass on the side marked 'dairy.' Dairy is protein. Are they saying you have to have more protein than presented on the plate, or have they just been pressured by the dairy lobby, or what? Because there's no reason to specify what type of protein to eat in that way. Also, I'm quite saddened that dessert (or 'fats and sweets' as they called it, ignoring the fact that fat is necessary for nutrition and contained in many other foods), got demoted from even its 'use sparingly' status on the pyramid. Desserts contain carbs and protein too, and sometimes even the almighty fruit! Certain foods are apparently so 'bad' now that they must be removed from the diet entirely. Also, I am really concerned to see that the first line on the new government page is about watching calories, not about eating for variety or pleasure. There is much to commend in jetisoning the confusing pyramid, but continued emphasis on a guilt-inducing, binge/bust-inducing model of required eating, including restriction, is not getting us anywhere.