The New Food Pyramid

Have you guys seen the new “Food Pyramid”? My friend Bridgette sent it to me and some other people who are interested in nutrition and health to ask us for our opinions.  I sent her my initial thoughts, but wanted to take some more time before sharing with you guys.

I have never really been a fan of the Food Pyramid.  I remember discussing it with my Girls on the Run team a few years ago and they were SO confused.  Something designed to help kids understand and be interested in nutrition should not go over their heads.  But this MyPlate thing seems a little too simple. The First Lady thinks that’s a good thing.

“Parents don’t have the time to measure out exactly three ounces of chicken or to look up how much rice or broccoli is in a serving,” she said.

I disagree and think they SHOULD MAKE THE TIME.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Michelle Obama’s commitment to our nation’s health and the Let’s Move campaign, but I hope she hasn’t spent too much time on this.

Here are the things I don’t like:

  • It is too vague.  How big is my plate?  If you are eating off of a plate the size of a pizza tray, none of these guidelines are helpful because you are eating too much.
  • What about snacks or when I am not eating off of a plate? Think of how many kids eat sandwiches for lunch.
  • Where is the water?  They should add a glass of water next to the glass of dairy.
  • Just adding a little more detail could go a long way. Make it Whole Grains instead of just Grains.  Change Dairy to Low-Fat Dairy. Lean protein instead of protein.

A few things I like:

  • The emphasis on fruits and vegetables. While I don’t think their recommendation is going to be met by most people, the effort is nice to see.
  • Removing meat from the guide and just focusing on protein.

Overall Thoughts

When I first saw the new guide I thought, “Do they think Americans are stupid?” Only seconds later I realized that this is coming from the government – and the government often benefits from keeping us in the dark. After watching Food Inc. years ago and learning about how much control the government has over our food supply, it isn’t a big surprise.

So much information is missing from this graphic but it is our responsibility to be accountable for what we eat and put into our bodies.  Educate yourself on what you are eating and what you should be eating.

What do you think about the guide?

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2 thoughts on “The New Food Pyramid

  1. lizalopoli says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by the comment “do they think Americans are stupid?” and that they want to keep us in the dark. I’d love more explanation!

  2. bridgette says:

    I really agree with you. I think even this update is oversimplified. There is some information that I think is best modified by experts for the general public’s understanding. In this case, however, I think it would be beneficial to be as explicit as possible. This is one area that Americans cannot afford to have dummed down for them. I think the obesity epidemic and the diseases and health problems that it has caused are evidence enough that Americans need more information. I love Michelle too, but this doesn’t cut it!

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