Food Pyramid Changes: with the recent food pyramid changes released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in April 2005, there have been many initiatives by the Government to make this a reality. The changes in the official USDA food pyramid were long due, the previous version having been released in 1992. One of the major objectives of the US Government was to make the famous triangular icon not merely a symbolic figure, but a reality in American society. In light of the high incidence of obesity and unhealthy eating patterns of most Americans, the new food pyramid was aimed to make changes in not the dietary plans advised by the government, but more in the interpretation and understanding of the pyramid by the people.
Why has food pyramid changed over time?
The food pyramid changes were an attempt to rectify this situation. Thus, while the immediate concern of the Government was to rectify the interpretation of the food pyramid, there were several problems in the meaning of the terms used in the same.
Thus, for instance, instead of using the term ‘serving’, the term was now replaced by different amounts, such as ‘cups’ or ‘ounces’. Many did not know what a serving really meant. If a person had a sandwich for the meal, then the two slices of bread were usually taken as one serving rather than two. Moreover, the older pyramid structure never really made any suggestions that the serving depended on the activity and dietary intake of the person. Thus, the servings were different for a woman with a sedentary lifestyle were largely different from those needed by an active, college-going kid. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the calorie intake itself varied with reference to the activity of any individual. At the same time, the servings were dependent on factors such as age, gender, activity, weight, height and other physical conditions of a person. This need was not met in the former structure. Terms such as whole grains, processed food, etc. were not clarified in the older form of the food pyramid. But the greatest disadvantage of the old food pyramid was the fact that it was hardly followed by the people, due to a lack of education and awareness. The food pyramid changes were introduced by the USDA in consultation with various health professionals and lobby groups.
Benefits of food pyramid changes
One of the best features of the recent food pyramid changes was the fact that the new food pyramid attempted to be an interactive system, where it offered different food plans for different people. The latter depended on such factors as age, gender, weight, height and physical activity. Physical activity is here measured in terms of time devoted to exercising besides daily routine activities. One can access the new MyPyramid plan from the official website of the Department. There have not been many major changes in dietary intake, but the food pyramid changes are more in terms of the presentation of the structure. Based on the information you feed in, there are further details on each of the recommended food groups and you can also take out printouts of the same. Another important change in the new food pyramid is the stress on physical activity.
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