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Monday, January 23, 2006

A Different Look at the Food Pyramid

The Harvard School of Public Health claims that the USDA has made some important mistakes with the new pyramid at MyPyramid.gov. The first one is that the graphic does not give anyone any clues about how they should be eating. I have to agree with this. I could hang that pyramid up in my kitchen, but I wouldn't expect it to teach the kids what to eat. It wouldn't help me remember how to plan my daily diet or anyone else's.

The Harvard researchers also say some of the USDA recommendations are off base. They suggest a pyramid full of words and pictures, showing which foods to eat most frequently. Their pyramid emphasizes eating less red meat, animal fat, "refined carbohydrates" and sugars. At the left is my attempt to represent their pyramid without copying their copyrighted graphic.

They cite research showing that eating according to the "Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid" guidelines is better for your health than eating according to the USDA guidelines.

Why? They say that, in addition to scientists and nutritionists, lobbyists "from a variety of food industries also helped shape the pyramid."

Food for Thought.

They recommend their book, Eat, Drink, and be Healthy and the healthy eating pyramids promoted by the Oldways Food Issues Think Tank.