Out with the Old, In with the New — Does It Make Any Difference to Healthy Eating As Long as We’re Still Dieting?


I can hardly stand all the noise around the release of the new healthy eating graphic – the revised version of Food Guide Pyramid. My frustration isn’t with the new graphic – it’s with all the ‘experts’ expounding on the problems with the old one.

My favorite quote: “The pyramid was partially responsible for the obesity epidemic…because it aggressively pushed a low-fat and high-carbohydrate diet,” says Dr. Arthur Agatston, creator of the South Beach Diet.

My gripe:

1) How can you blame the ‘obesity epidemic’ (I’ll address the reason for the quotation marks in a later post) on the Pyramid WHEN NO ONE EATS LIKE IT RECOMMENDS????

For example, most people eat only one vegetable a day – and guess what kind. French fries! Turn the pyramid upside down, with all the sweets and low-nutrient foods at the bottom, followed by meats, cheese, etc., and then you get a better picture of how Americans actually eat.

2) Where do people really get their eating advice? From diets! People really learned the low-fat, high-carbohydrate mantra from the best-selling diet books of the 80s and early 90s. And of course, Dr. Agatston would have problems with those because his diet book promotes a lower-carb approach.

 Until people stop dieting and start eating normally, we’re going to have a hard time with healthy eating, no matter what graphic guides us, to say nothing of achieving and maintaining healthy weights.

The main idea? Stop dieting, start living!

P.S. I’ll give you my take on the new graphic later.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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