Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Whatever Happened to the Basic Four Food Groups?


What Ever Happened to the Basic Four

The USDA was originally given the conflicting task of educating the public on agricultural matters while simultaneously working with food producers to provide a reliable and consistent food supply. This has, over the course of time, led to our ever evolving dietary guidelines, and yet is the purpose of these guidelines for our health or to sell more food?

Would You Believe There Were Once 12 Food Groups?

The food guides during the 1930's were heavily influenced by The Great Depression and at that time included 12 separate groups!

In 1956 the USDA produced the "Basic Four" food guide. The Dairy Industry was so enthusiastic they heavily promoted the plan, and why not; since milk, eggs and butter were suggested as a separate food group, it only made sense that the Dairy Industry would be quite pleased.

In grade school in the 1960s we were taught three square meals a day were what was best, and any other eating was considered a "snack." What is a snack? Is it extra food when you're not hungry? Is it something to do when your bored? Is it a social activity (standing around a table laden with food at a party)?

And just what was a square meal? It was based on the "Basic Four Food Groups" as they were defined at that time:

1. Milk
2. Meat
3. Fruit & Vegetables
4. Grains

Four groups, four sides, four square! Neat. Easy. People could "get" this, and that was the point. Make it easy enough for the average person to understand.

In the 1970's research began making a case that the over consumption of certain foods such as fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, increased chances for heart disease and diabetes and thereby caused the USDA to attempt to further modify their guidelines.

This was met with scorn, ridicule and very heavy resistance from the meat and dairy industries. They fought tooth-and-nail to keep the guidelines as they were, but to no avail. Eventually we ended up with the Food Pyramid.

Big Foods Wins Again

In 1988 and 1989, the USDA produced the Eating Right Pyramid, emphasizing grains and other plant foods, and de-emphasizing animal products. It was set for approval in 1991. Just prior to it's scheduled release the meat, dairy, and egg lobbyists finally took notice and heavily attacked the plan due for it's misrepresentation on their products.

Complaints were made to the Secretary of Agriculture, Edward R. Madigan, that this pyramid would hurt the sales of beef. The National Milk Producers Association joined in the fight, and within weeks the new Eating Right Pyramid was withdrawn. Big food wins again! Secretary Madigan gave as his reason for the withdrawal that the plan was, "confusing to children."

Next came the protests from the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association and other health and medical organizations over the withdrawal of the pyramid. In July 1991 a private firm was hired, and charged with the task of testing the pyramid on a select group of children and those with minimal education. The resulting $855,000 study determined the plan was indeed sound, and it was again scheduled for release.

In April 1992 the Eating Right Pyramid was released, one year late due to the 33 changes demanded by the meat and dairy industries, nearly all of which were incorporated into the design.

Keep in mind that the dietary guidelines are a product of the food manufacturers greater needs (selling more product) with a rough balance of the health industry's attempt to influence public opinion.

The Eating Right Pyramid Attacked by Atkins Diet and Other Low Carb Diets

Today, in the early 2000s, we are again revising the USDA's recommendations. Formerly heavily leaning toward the consumption of breads and cereals (it never made a point of being specific about grains, but it make sense. The food industry is interested in selling processed grains, not whole grains), it appears we'll soon move back to the plan of the early 1930s which emphases meat and dairy, or maybe not. Only time will tell who will win the fight this time around. And the cycle continues. What's up next for our dietary guidelines is anyone's guess, which is why I suggest the common sense diet.

Eat good food and more of it. End of story.

~~ Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, author of the free e-book: Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss, and owner of OneMoreBite-Weightloss.com

Get The Daily Bites: Inspirational Mini Lessons Using EFT and NLP for Ending the Struggle with Weight Loss.


MORE RESOURCES:

TheHealthSite

National Nutrition Week 2014: 5 reasons your school-going child needs better ...
TheHealthSite
Nutrition is something we all usually take for granted. It is a common belief that if you eat some fruits and have food cooked at home it is a recipe for a healthy life full of nutrition. This belief often percolates to our children too. That tall ...
World Vision India to observe National Nutrition Weekindiablooms

all 4 news articles »


TheHealthSite

National Nutrition Week 2014: Why we need to make better food choices
TheHealthSite
Good and adequate nutrition sets the foundation of a healthy living. A balanced nutrition when coupled with required physical activity and salutary lifestyle helps keep diseases and disorders at an arm's length. With so much being talked about on the ...



Healthy Nutrition | Keep hydrating; it's still summer
Centre Daily Times
Becky Long is a health coach, guiding people with easy, sustainable nutrition and lifestyle changes based on individual goals. Her coaching practice, Healthy Nutrition Knowledge, can be reached at 610-462-7711. Visit www.healthynutritionknowledge.com ...

and more »


UK parliamentarians seek health warning, nutrition content on liquor labels
Gant Daily
London, United Kingdom (4E) – A group of U.K. parliamentarians want to introduce a law requiring all alcoholic drinks in the country to include a health warning and nutritional content in their labels. The proposal is one of 10 the All-Party ...

and more »


Eggland's believes nutrition rules the roost
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
While the egg industry in general has had sales as flat as a crepe, Eggland's Best L.L.C., a producer of higher-nutrition eggs, has seen unit sales increase by double digits each of the last 17 years, an average of 14 percent each year, said Charles T ...



Wellness programs spread to schools
Dayton Daily News
Those are primary reasons why any school that participates in the National School Lunch Program or other federal child nutrition program is now required to establish a school wellness policy. A school wellness policy guides efforts regarding school ...



World Health Organization (press release)

Nutrition clinics help tackle obesity in Bahrain
World Health Organization (press release)
Nutrition clinics have become central to tackling obesity in Bahrain. In 2007, the country had one of the highest rates of overweight and obesity in WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (after Kuwait and Saudi Arabia), with 33% of adults aged over 20 ...



Businessweek

Tossing the First Lady's Lunch
Businessweek
As superintendent of the Fort Thomas Independent School District in northern Kentucky, Gene Kirchner oversees 3,000 students who buy about 1,400 cafeteria lunches each day. At least they used to. Since federal school lunch nutrition requirements ...

and more »


SNA Holds Fourth School Nutrition Conference
AllAfrica.com
The School Nutrition Association, SNA, Wednesday held their 4th School Nutrion Conference at the SAFMU conference hall at the NCCE head office. Speaking at the conference, Victoria Ginja, the WFP Representative, congratulated SNA for trying to change ...



CNN

Fuel right! 9 triathlon nutrition rules
CNN
(Triathlete.com) -- A solid nutrition strategy will help your body make the most out of all your hours swimming, biking and running. We asked registered dietitian and multiple Ironman finisher Lauren Antonucci for her top nine rules for beginner ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.