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:

New York Daily News

Backlash forces nutrition group to end Kraft partnership
New York Daily News
Kraft Foods and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have decided to end a partnership that put the dietitian group's 'Kids Eat Right' logo on Kraft Singles because 'misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign,' Kraft said in a statement March 31.
Major Nutrition Group Agrees To Stop Endorsing Slices Of Fake CheeseThinkProgress
'Mutiny' Forces Kraft to End Nutrition Labeling Deal with Academy of Nutrition ...The Daily Meal
Nutrition Group And Kraft Call Off Cheesy CollaborationMediaPost Communications
TakePart -Journal Times
all 111 news articles »


USDA.gov (press release) (blog)

Online Nutrition Resources at Your Fingertips
USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
U.S. nutrition experts issue “leading indicators” on the nation's nutritional health. USDA's national “What We Eat In America” survey data indicate that dietary fiber intakes among U.S. consumers average only 16 grams per day. The problem is that the ...



Why poor nutrition in the womb leads to obesity later in life
Medical Xpress
Babies receiving poor nutrition in the womb tend to be smaller at birth, which has been linked to the development of obesity and other health problems later in life. Researchers continue to discover other consequences related to undernutrition during ...



Boston.com (blog)

Are Eggs the Nutrition Comeback Kid?
Boston.com (blog)
Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. She writes on healthy eating, one bite at a time. Share; Comment. hardboiledegg.jpg. What's not to love about them?



Nutrition organization-sponsored conference busts whole-grain myths
Tribune-Review
At first glance, whole grains, such as whole wheat, barley, quinoa and brown rice, may not seem like a controversial topic, but misconceptions and half-truths abound, creating barriers to meeting the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommendation to consume at ...



Victoria Advocate

How to choose a nutrition bar
Victoria Advocate
In today's on-the-run society, where sitting down for a meal is sometimes a luxury, the convenience of nutrition bars may seem to be just what you need to fit in your busy schedule. Even though nutrition bars were primarily designed for athletes, now ...

and more »


Mother Nature Network

Why 2015 is a big year for child nutrition
Mother Nature Network
The act authorizes all of the federal child nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs. These programs provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods in public ...

and more »


Andhra Wishesh

Nestle expanding research on child health and nutrition
Food Business News (registration)
VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — The research effort is on at Nestle S.A. The Vevey-based company earlier this week said it will expand its research on child health and nutrition to 10 countries, including the United States, China and Mexico, by the end of 2016.
Nestlé to expand research on child health and nutrition to 10 countriesThe FINANCIAL
Skipping lunch becomes a worrisome practice in childrenhelpmeoutDOC News - A consistent flow of medical news

all 10 news articles »


Office of nutrition services holds 5K run for national nutrition month
Eastern Echo
Seventy runners and walkers participated in the Office of Nutritional Service's second annual 5K fun run Thursday, starting at Roosevelt Hall. ONS held the run in honor of National Nutrition Month. Junior Monica Contejean, dietetic student, said ONS ...



Medical Edge: Eggs & nutrition
WKRC TV Cincinnati
They are packed with both iron and vitamin D. Several diets including those from the American Heart Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said eggs can be eaten as part of a balanced diet as well these days. It's just about limiting ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.