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Biggest Diet News Of 2011

Posted: 12/14/2011 8:45 am EST

By Angela Haupt and Kurtis Hiatt, U.S. News

The Food Pyramid falls, Weight Watchers rises, and other major diet news. A roundup.

Another year has passed and we still don't fully understand what happens when we eat -- why we gain or lose weight, which foods should be embraced or cast aside, how nutrients are absorbed. But that just makes researchers even hungrier to find out. This past year, scientists explored everything from the effect of diet on heart health to the link between particular foods and fatness.

More from U.S. News:
Best Diets Overall
Best Weight-Loss Diets
Celebrity Weight Loss: Tales of the Scales

From their work, U.S. News has selected the following eight as the standouts in the diet news of 2011.

1. Food Pyramid Knocked Down
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In June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture replaced the decades-old food pyramid with a dinner plate divided into sectors like a pie chart. The plate is touted as a more straightforward way to dish out healthy eating advice than the pyramid, a rainbow-striped triangle with a staircase edge. Introduced in 1992 and updated in 2005, the pyramid had long been felt by nutritionists to be too difficult to interpret. The dinner plate features four sections -- one piled with fruits, one with veggies, one with grains, one with protein, and a small side cup of dairy. The symbol is designed to convey, as simply as possible, key eating recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, like filling half your plate with fruits and veggies.

[Check out the new Best Diets rankings.]

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Filed by Amanda L. Chan  |