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A View from David Appell

Food Pyramid

I’m still struggling to understand the new food pyramid, which I think means it’s probably a failure. What happened to the intuitive feel of the previous one? Now there are 12 different charts, and you have to go to a…

  • April 20, 2005

I’m still struggling to understand the new food pyramid, which I think means it’s probably a failure. What happened to the intuitive feel of the previous one? Now there are 12 different charts, and you have to go to a Web site to figure out how it conforms to you in detail. (If obesity is primarily a disease of the poor, aren’t they the ones least likely to have Web access?) I think the Center for Science in the Public Interest gets it right when they wrote in a press release: “By making ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ the mantra, and by replacing one pyramid with 12, the government has made this advice more complicated than it needs to be. There are simple key principles about healthy eating that truly do work for all Americans, and those could have been represented on one symbol. Such a symbol would have made it immediately clear that we should be eating more fruits and vegetables; low-fat and fat-free dairy products as opposed to cheese and 2% milk; chicken and lean meats as opposed to hamburgers; whole grains as opposed to refined grains; and for everyone, less soda and less salt.” One shouldn’t have to go to a Web site to find such details–a Web site that didn’t even work when I tried it out. (Probably it’s swamped.)

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