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 2005 MyPyramid: What the USDA Won’t Tell You    
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Bonnie Minsky

2005 MyPyramid: What the USDA Won't Tell You

Think That The USDA's New Pyramid Has The Public's Health Interests in Mind, and is Immune to Powerful Food Lobbyists, Think Again.

By: Bonnie Minsky

Editors Note:

With an approximate 65% of the American population overweight or obese, the country waited in anticipation for the new refined dietary pyramid that should get the country healthy again. Unfortunately, the new mypyramid is laden with politics and the influence of powerful food lobbyists that actually encourage us to eat unhealthy foods. Bonnie Minsky illustrates in detail. Read on…

With all the bravado and excitement concocted since the release of MyPyramid 2005, there is a seedy underbelly aching to be exploited. Specifically, I am talking about a $500 billion dollar food industry influencing a wing of government that has no business overseeing our nation's nutrition policy, because their loyalties are not to the American public.

My Pyramid We should have known it was doomed from the start. From the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee handpicked by special interests to incapacitated for the first 24 hours it was online, we should have known. Other than a few positive changes (consuming more fruits and vegetables and promoting more exercise), MyPyramid reek's badly.

A $500 billion dollar food industry influencing a wing of government that has no business overseeing our nation's nutrition policy…
This is what we've been waiting thirteen years for? This is what a marketing firm hired by the USDA for $2.4 million of our tax dollars came up with?

Last Food Pyramid Was A Failure

Actually, this is one thing the USDA did tell you. Dr. Eric Hentges, Director of the Center for Nutrition and Food Policy, said as much. As far back as 2001, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The National Institutes of Health (NIH) admitted at a conference for health professionals that the Food Guide Pyramid was a total failure. 80% of Americans recognized the symbol, but have become sicker and heavier than at any other time in recorded history since it was updated in 1992.

My Pyramid Is Not Based Upon Sound Science

In 2004, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons pontificated that, "the 2005 changes in the Dietary Guidelines and Food Guide Pyramid will add complexity but will not correct the errors."

Americans…have become sicker and heavier than at any other time in recorded history since [the Food Pyramid] was updated in 1992.
Harvard School of Public Health and the top genetic researchers in America agree that our genes and dietary needs have changed very little (about 0.005 percent) since the beginning of the agricultural revolution over 10,000 years ago. At that time, a human's system, taste buds, and food supply, were in harmony. Our ancestor's diet consisted mostly of game meats, fish, shellfish, small mammals, tubers and sprouted vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

They consumed very little grain except wild emmer wheat and barley when they couldn't get enough other foods. They consumed no dairy products. They consumed no concentrated or refined sugars. No mention of genetic variation as it relates to dietary needs was ever considered in the pyramid or in the dietary guidelines.

Cave Man As anticipated, grain and milk make up the largest sections of MyPyramid. 80% of the pyramid is carbohydrates and milk products. Wheat (the grain most prominent on is the number two allergen in the United States. In excess, whole wheat blocks the absorption of essential minerals.

There is a strong correlation between gluten intolerance (the grain that holds grains together) and diabetes, osteoporosis, thyroid malfunction, and autoimmune disease. The Glycemic load (how fast carbohydrates are metabolized as sugar into the bloodstream) shows that whole grains are not much better than refined carbohydrates and are much worse than fruit and vegetable carbohydrates.

MyPyramid makes no mention of added sugars, and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines simply say's, "choose your carbohydrates wisely." A study done by Dr. Shanthy Bowman, a nutritionist at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, showed that people who got more than 18% of their calories from added sugars had "the least adequately nutritious diets," than two other groups with 10-18% or less than 10%.

Considering millions of Americans are in the more than 18% group, and the study came from one of its own, would one not expect there to be a stronger phrase than "choose carbohydrates wisely?" We've actually regressed with regard to the sugar issue. In 1980, it was "avoid too much sugar." In 2000, it was "choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugar." In 2005, it is "choose your carbohydrates wisely."

Countries consuming virtually no cow's milk products, such as Japan, have lower levels of osteoporosis than the US and the lowest rates of heart disease and cancer in the world.
Now that the amount of dairy servings has been increased to three daily from 2-3 in the last food pyramid, let's look at the sound science. Two-thirds of the world is lactose intolerant (the sugar in milk and dairy products). Many others are allergic to casein (milk protein). Milk is the number one allergen in the United States. A 2005 Pediatrics review study found that milk is not essential for healthy bone growth in young children if they get calcium from other sources and exercise adequately.

Countries, such as Finland, consuming the most cows' milk have a high rate of the "calcification" form of heart disease and the most osteoporosis in the hip areas. Countries consuming virtually no cow's milk products, such as Japan, have lower levels of osteoporosis than the US and the lowest rates of heart disease and cancer in the world.

Public relations firm Porter Novelli created the MyPyramid symbol. Of course you would want to hire them again when 80% of the American public recognized the last symbol. But the problem is, why were they involved in the science, as shown by their inclusion as a member of the March 2004 Naturally Nutrient Rich Symposium?

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