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1. A graphic representation of the structure of a food chain, depicted as a pyramid having a broad base formed by producers and tapering to a point formed by end consumers. Between successive levels, total biomass decreases as energy is lost from the system.
2. A diagram representing the optimal number of servings to be eaten each day from each of the basic food groups. Also called diet pyramid.
a diagrammatic proportional representation of human nutritional needs updated in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to replace the previous food pyramid created in 1992. Replaced in 2011 with the "My Plate" icon.
food pyramidNutrition A schematic guideline for ratios of food types that should be consumed daily in a healthy diet; at the base of the pyramid are carbohydrates, followed by fruits and vegetables, dairy products, protein foods; at the pyramid's peak are 'discouraged' foods, to be eaten sparingly–eg, fats, oils, refined sugars. Cf Fast food, Four food groups, Exercise pyramid, Five food groups, Mediterranean pyramid.
n graphic issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services that details recommendations for a balanced diet. Through the illustration of a triangle, it labels daily food choices according to recommended frequency of ingestion. Includes daily serving quantities for bread, rice, and cereal (6–11 servings daily); fruit (2–4 servings daily); vegetables (3–5 servings daily); dairy (2–3 servings daily); meats (2–3 servings daily); and fats, oils, and sweets (use sparingly).