Project: Design a Better Food Pyramid (Extended Deadline)

The federal government updates its dietary guidelines every five years, and creates a new visual aid. What this year's should look like?

The federal government updates its dietary guidelines every five years. Over the years, the guidelines have lead to the Basic Four Food Groups and the Improved American Food Guide Pyramid.

Given the conflicting advice from nutritionists and lobbyists, it's unclear how a new visual guide will address the mounting public health problems associated with unhealthy eating when it’s unveiled in December. The Washington Post said that the pyramid may be replaced this year "with a plate of food that visually demonstrates a healthful meal."

We'd like to hear from you. What nutritional advice should we be sending? Should it include other factors, like a food's water or ecological footprint?


Build a new illustrated food guide that presents nutritional guidelines in a clear, simple, easy-to-understand graphic.


Please e-mail us your submissions to projects[at]goodinc[dot]com with the subject "Redesign the Food Pyramid." It should be a JPG and under 5MB. We'll contact the winner for higher resolution pieces. We’ll take submissions now through November 30.

The winning entry will be selected by GOOD and Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and a food studies professor at NYU. The winner will be announced on December 20, featured on our homepage, and printed in the next issue of GOOD. We’ll send a GOOD T-shirt and a free subscription (or gift subscription) to the winners.


Here are the recently released 2010 dietary guidelines and criticism from scientists questioning whether those guidelines are still appropriate for addressing obesity and diabetes.

A history of the U.S. guidelines to date and a look into a previous effort to rebuild the pyramid.

The current food pyramid (although most people are probably more familiar with the 1992 pyramid, a graphic that came from Sweden).

A 2008 proposal in the United Kingdom from Tim Lang, who coined the term "food miles," for food flowers and a more recent proposal in the European Union for a double pyramid.