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 May 6, 2005
Out with the old pyramid, in with 12 new ones
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WASHINGTON The government has tossed its one-size-fits-all food pyramid -- and replaced it with 12 food pyramids to guide people to healthy eating.

The new guides are each geared to different lifestyles and nutritional needs.

The pyramids are pretty much the same shape, but rainbow-colored bands representing different food groups now run vertically from tip to base. They used to run horizontally.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns (JOH'-hanz) says the change will "help consumers understand how to put nutrition recommendations into action."

Officials hope the changes will renew interest in healthy habits. People have steadily plumped up since the food pyramid came out in 1992. And a report in last month's New England Journal of Medicine found that obesity is reversing gains in life expectancy.

A top department nutrition official says if the fattening trend doesn't change, "our children may be the first generation that cannot look forward to a longer life span than their parents."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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