Food Guidelines

Sure, everyone wants to be healthy. And of course people know, “you are what you eat.” There is anything but a shortage of advice on what-to-eat, or what-not-to-eat. The government has its own guidelines, and this newest version is an improvement in clarity (although still influenced by food industry, as much or more than science). Harvard School of Public Health has for years provided their own version of food guidelines, mirroring the USDA’s, but minus industry influence.

The guidelines are similar to the USDA set, but have some important differences. My favorites include increased vegetables, emphasis on whole grains, and the removal of dairy. And unlike the USDA My Plate, the details are listed directly on the graphic. The biggest question really comes down to influence. Do these graphics have any impact on how people eat? If people respond to them, I’d prefer they use Harvard’s version. But the biggest impact is the USDA’s guidelines, as they tie in directly with food policy and financing.

The final word? I’ll go with Michael Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

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