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The Fall Of The Original USDA Food Guide Pyramid

Updated on February 4, 2008

The 1992 Food Guide Pyramid

In 1992 the USDA aka The United States Department of Agriculture, created a food group classification system called the Food Guide Pyramid. The goal was to suggest ideal nutritional guidelines for people who needed a little help understanding how much one should eat from each food group on a daily basis.

Unfortunetly the guide was unhelpful and could create more diet and nutritional problems then it could help. The balanced diet presented by the Food Guide Pyramid was truly unbalanced and the large amounts of food suggested for daily consumption, unhealthy. Even worse, the two dimensional pictures were bland and unappealing and the pyramid lacked the sparkles and pretty lights neccesary to grab hold of the average person the pyramid was created to educate in the first place.

Nutrition Facts For Corn Dog Meal

Corn Dog

Serving Size 1 corndog (175g)Amount Per ServingCalories 460 Calories from Fat 170% Daily Value*Total Fat 18.9g 29%Saturated Fat 5.2g 26%Polyunsaturated Fat 3.5g Monounsaturated Fat 9.1g Cholesterol 78.8mg 26%Sodium 973mg 41%Potassium 262.5mg 8%Total Carbohydrate 55.8g 19%Protein 16.8g 32%Vitamin A 4%•Vitamin C 0%Calcium 10%•Iron 34%


Serving Size 1 packet (6g)Amount Per ServingCalories 6 Calories from Fat 0% Daily Value*Total Fat 0g 0%Saturated Fat 0g 0%Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg 0%Sodium 66.8mg 3%Potassium 22.9mg 1%Total Carbohydrate 1.4g 0%Dietary Fiber 0.1g 0%Sugars 1.2g 0%Protein 0.1g 0%

1 Cup Milk

Serving Size 1 cup (246g) Amount Per ServingCalories 138 Calories from Fat 44% Daily Value*Total Fat 4.9g 7%Saturated Fat 3g 15%Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g Monounsaturated Fat 1.4g Cholesterol 19.7mg 7%Sodium 145.1mg 6%Potassium 447.7mg 13%Total Carbohydrate 13.5g 5%Dietary Fiber 0g 0%Sugars 12.9g 4%Protein 9.7g 18%Vitamin A 0%•Vitamin C 5%Calcium 35%•Iron 1%

A Balanced Meal Under The 1992 Food Guide Pyramid

A balanced meal is what? A meal that uses at least one food from each of the food groups? Because of that lack of explanation as to what was considered part of what food group, confusion set in for those foods that had unclear food group association. Keeping this in mind let us consider an average meal consumed by an average american for which the Food Guide Pyramid was created for.

For this meal, the Food Guide Pyramid will be taken into consideration using the most basic of assumptions of what foods are considered to be from which food group.

Deep Fried Corn Dog With Ketchup For Dipping and Glass Of Milk

  • corn (it's in the name, must be in the food) 1 serving of vegetable
  • dog (not actually a dog, but a meat product nonetheless) 1 serving meat
  • cornmeal (fluffy bread substance dog is covered with) 1 serving grain
  • ketchup (for dipping) 1 serving fruit
  • deep fry oil 1 serving oils
  • Glass of milk 1 serving dairy

As you can see this meal considers the food pyramid and includes one item from each food group on the pyramid. In essence it should be a balanced meal, Looking below you can see that A corn dog and a glass of milk is not actually a nutritionally sound meal. Shocking.

On the right the Nutritional Information has been gathered and as you can see, is unbalanced. There is little actual nutritional content that should be found in a healthy, nutritious meal.

The MyPyramid Is Introduced In 2005

In 2005 The Food Guide Pyramid was retired by the USDA and the MyPyramid was instituted as the new and improved food group pyramid. This new food group pyramid rexamined Americans eating habits and they way they looked at measuring a "serving". No more guessing involved, now actual measurements were provided. The USDA also has decided that it is important to put emphasis on healthy foods withen the food groups. That corn dog won't cut it here. Smart Thinking.

With the help of bright attention getting colors and fun easy to understand pictures, americans needing geometrical shape to tell them the proper amounts of food to eat now had their picture perfect guide to a better, healthier way to eat. No worries about the general public becoming confused, the MyPyramid was created for all persons over the ages of 2. For those under 2, you will need to seek other nutritional information as this guide was not meant for you.

Also included is the new food group, physical activity. The USDA felt it neccesary to include a stick figure walking up the food pyramid to remind that physical activity is a key factor to being healthy.


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