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April 20, 2005

Out with the Old, In with the New -- Does It Make Any Difference to Healthy Eating As Long as We're Still Dieting?

I can hardly stand all the noise around the release of the new healthy eating graphic – the revised version of Food Guide Pyramid. My frustration isn’t with the new graphic – it’s with all the ‘experts’ expounding on the problems with the old one. My favorite quote: “The pyramid was partially responsible for the obesity epidemic…because it aggressively pushed a low-fat and high-carbohydrate diet,” says Dr. Arthur Agatston, creator of the South Beach Diet. My gripe:

1) How can you blame the ‘obesity epidemic’ (I’ll address the reason for the quotation marks in a later post) on the Pyramid WHEN NO ONE EATS LIKE IT RECOMMENDS???? For example, most people eat only one vegetable a day – and guess what kind. French fries! Turn the pyramid upside down, with all the sweets and low-nutrient foods at the bottom, followed by meats, cheese, etc., and then you get a better picture of how Americans actually eat.

2) Where do people really get their eating advice? From diets! People really learned the low-fat, high-carbohydrate mantra from the best-selling diet books of the 80s and early 90s. And of course, Dr. Agatston would have problems with those because his diet book promotes a lower-carb approach.

Until people stop dieting and start eating normally, we’re going to have a hard time with healthy eating, no matter what graphic guides us, to say nothing of achieving and maintaining healthy weights.

P.S. I’ll give you my take on the new graphic later.

Posted by Marsha on April 20, 2005 | Permalink


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