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Unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this spring, the new nutrition pyramid offers 12 individually tailored models for improving eating and exercise habits. The new design flips the traditional pyramid on its side and adds a staircase for exercise amounts. Colored bands representing various food groups run vertically from the tip of the pyramid to its base.

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The new recommendations, called "MyPyramid," encourage people to personalize their diet and exercise program along 12 models representing different calorie intakes and levels of activity. At, your patient will find various tools to help him devise a good eating and exercise plan. For example, he can input his age, gender, and activity level and get a quick estimate of what and how much he should eat.


Government health officials say that the previous food pyramid, which was revised in 1992, was familiar to many Americans but few followed its recommendations. They hope the new, personalized pyramid will have more influence on Americans' health habits.