Tuesday, 19 April, 2005
12 Food Pyramids are Better Than One?
Demonstrating once again the idiocy of bureaucracy, the USDA today unveiled its new Dietary Guidelines for Americans to replace the silly Food Pyramid that debuted in 1992. Figuring that more is better, our intrepid bureaucrats have now created 12 different food pyramids, each one geared toward different lifestyles and eating habits. And just to confuse people, the color bands on the new pyramids run vertically rather than horizontally. Internet tools (MyPyramid.gov) based on the new information are under development.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns called it "a system of information to help consumers understand how to put nutrition recommendations into action." I call it "typical useless bureaucratic bullshit."
Really. How hard can it be? Diet and exercise recommendations for most people can fit in a couple of paragraphs. For sure, any such information that takes more than one page is just a bunch of fluff. The summary fits in a few bullet points:
- Eat a balanced diet that includes meat, fruit, bread, and vegetables.
- Enjoy snack foods sparingly.
- Go for a walk every day. 30 minutes is a good target.
- Buy a good bathroom scale. Weigh yourself once a week and record the weight. If you see your weight increasing, cut back on the amount you eat. If you see that you're losing weight (unlikely, but possible), slightly increase the amount you eat.
- If you feel it's necessary, take a single multivitamin supplement every day.
- Parents should do the same things for their kids: feed them healthy balanced meals and monitor their weight.
It really is that simple. All it takes is a little bit of common sense, a little bit of discipline, and a little bit of self restraint. It certainly shouldn't require a multi billion dollar industry and a government agency to ensure that people eat right and exercise a little bit.
Ignore the USDA's new guidelines and the sensationalist media's continual dire warnings about the evils of certain foods. Engage your brain along with your legs. Take a walk around the block while you plan next week's menu.
Government diet recommendations. What a crock. Next they'll be telling Sesame Street's Cookie Monster to take it easy on the cookies.
Oh, wait. That already happened. I just learned that Cookie Monster will be eating fruit next season. Cookies will be a "sometimes food." Not even Cookie Monster is immune to the "War on Fat" that is gaining mindshare. According to Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, the show's vice president of research and education: "We are not putting him on a diet, and we would never take the position of no sugar. We're teaching him moderation."
Give me a <expletive deleted> break! The Cookie Monster character is supposed to be over the top. He's what is commonly referred to as a negative example--somebody who gets in trouble because he can't control his cravings. I just can't believe that kids--now or 35 years ago--ever believed that it was okay to emulate Cookie Monster and scarf down dozens of cookies. Kids do understand the difference between fantasy and reality. What I can't figure out is who thinks kids are that stupid.