Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Food Tetrahedron: The Agriculture Department updated its iconic food pyramid. Instead of one pyramid, we now have 12. Here's how the Washington Post describes the difference:

Inside the familiar pyramid shape, rainbow-colored bands representing different food groups run vertically from the tip to the base.

The old pyramid’s sections ran horizontally.
I took the little online quiz -- which is supposed to customize your dietary needs to your age, sex, and daily activity -- and here's what I'm supposed to eat:

Based on the information you provided and the average needs for your age, gender and physical activity [Age: 28, Sex: male, Physical Activity: 30 to 60 minutes] your results indicate that you should eat these amounts from the following food groups daily.

Your results are based on a 2800 calorie pattern*.

10 ounces

3.5 cups
That's it. Apparently I'm supposed to become a fucking vegan. Am I missing something here? That asterisk doesn't point to anything, by the way.

Anyhow, Achenblog sums this up better than I can:

The USDA probably ought to stop giving people the idea that they can achieve nutritional Nirvana by carefully selecting foods from the right part of some pyramid or pie chart, because you know what people do: They eat the entire pyramid and the entire pie chart. (My brother's great line, coming out of restaurant at the Old Faithful Inn, patting his belly: "I'm pretty sure they lost money on me at the buffet.")

The USAD needs to publish a pyramid that just contains four words: STOP BEING A PIG.
For more thoughts on dietary trends, see my previous post. I'll be out of the office on Wednesday, so I won't be able to post anything. Eugene, I promise to put up the Darfur post on Thursday. Have a good day.

P.S. I don't care about the new pope.

Update: Happy Monkey points out that the USDA Web site has had some technical difficulties. You have to reload it a few times before you can find out how much meat you can eat. Long story short, no veganism for me. I'm still sticking with the eat-what-tastes-good diet, though.


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