Trade associations anxious about USDA's food pyramid design.The government's new food pyramid food pyramid or Food Guide Pyramid, diagram used in nutrition education that fits food groups into a triangle and notes that, for a healthful diet, those at the base should be eaten more frequently than those at the top. , which is now being overhauled to reflect the government's new dietary guidelines dietary guidelines Cardiology A series of dietary recommendations from the Nutrition Committee of the Am Heart Assn, that promote cardiovascular health. See Caloric restriction, food pyramid, French paradox. , which were released January 12, is taking longer than expected to be released. USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture. had said it could be ready as early as February but is now saying March or early April. Eric Hentges, executive director of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture created on December 1, 1994, and is the focal point within the USDA where scientific research is linked with the nutritional needs of the American public. said, "We have one chance to this, and we really want to get it right," he says.
To date, the USDA has even refused to say whether the pyramid will be scrapped in favor of another shape. USDA is paying a PR group $1.6 million for its work on the graphic redesign. USDA says it intends the graphic to be a "food guidance system" that aims to "motivate and educate consumers to make healthy food choices."
Sources say the pyramid shape remains a strong contender, because it's so widely recognized by the public. However, even if the pyramid design is retained it will look radically different from the current food pyramid.
One blueprint that has been considered, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. one industry expert, would divide the various food groups into segments running from top to bottom, like an upside-down fan. Another pyramid design gives no food group the coveted cov·et
v. cov·et·ed, cov·et·ing, cov·ets
1. To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's). See Synonyms at envy.
2. To wish for longingly. See Synonyms at desire. base spot; foods at the top have less nutritional value than those at the bottom, even in the same category. With no single food group as the base of the pyramid analysts say many foods could claim to be at the base of a healthy diet.
Food associations and trade groups are all interested in the shape and layout of the pyramid. A prominent spot for their products could reap extraordinary benefits from consumers and health care officials. For example, the new dietary guidelines suggest eating five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and if they are displayed together as one group, they could beat out grains as the biggest category for American diets--something the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association would like to see. The group said it recently has been making its position known to USDA officials it works with on national nutrition programs, says Amy Philpott, a spokeswoman for the association.
However, representatives of the grain industry are equally determined to maintain their current position as the foundation of American's diets. "If we had our druthers druth·ers
A choice or preference: "Given their druthers, these hell-for-leather free marketeers might sell the post office" George F. Will. we'd love to see the pyramid stay how it is," says Judi Adams, president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Grain-Based Foods.
Meanwhile, other food associations are hoping the new dietary graphic does not impede im·pede
tr.v. im·ped·ed, im·ped·ing, im·pedes
To retard or obstruct the progress of. See Synonyms at hinder1.
[Latin imped sales of their products. The sugar lobby has been pressing USDA to not have the graphic reflect a recommended daily cap on sugar consumption. The potato sector wants USDA to combine potatoes with other vegetables in the food symbol.