Food pyramid

The food pyramid is a nutrition guide created by the USDA. Released in 1992 it suggests how much of each food category one should eat each day. The food pyramid replaces the four food groups.

In general terms the food pyramid recommends the following intake of different food groups each day, although exact amounts of calorie intake depends on sex, age, and lifestyle:

The food pyramid also suggests the use of fats and oils sparingly.

The food pyramid has been critized by many who see its suggestions as unhealthy. There are claims that the USDA was influenced by agricultural interest groups and that the pyramid contains unhealthy amounts of beef and dairy products. Others point to the fact that potatoes are listed as being acceptable to eat as a vegetable serving and the fact that all oils and fats are considered the same even though scientists now feel that some oils are very beneficial to human health.

A new food pyramid is slated to be released in 2005 to reflect the latest nutritional data that has been learned since 1992.

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