With obesity reaching epidemic proportions in the U.S., some critics say it's the government's food pyramid that should go on a diet.
The pyramid, dating from 1991, pictorially reflects the U.S. Department of Agriculture's guidelines ...
While the government has stood by this regimen for 11 years, some critics say it's no coincidence that the number of overweight Americans has risen 61%
since the pyramid was introduced -- and almost instantaneously appeared on the sides of pasta boxes, bread wrappers and packages of other food products in the pyramid's six-to-11-servings category.
David S. Ludwig, an obesity researcher at Children's Hospital in Boston, says the pyramid and guidelines focus too much on reducing fat
. He says people are getting fat because they are eating too many refined carbohydrates
, such as those in white bread, that make them feel hungrier later so they overeat.
Among the most vocal of the pyramid's critics is Walter Willett, chairman of the Harvard School for Public Health's nutrition department. "The pyramid really ignored 40 years of data and condemned all fats and oils,"
he says. While the pyramid indicates that only fat calories count, Dr. Willet says, "calories are calories."
He and other critics say the government's focus on reducing calories from fat has helped propel sales of low-fat foods that still pack a lot of calories
-- ..."That probably has contributed to the explosion in obesity," ...The trial is funded by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation, which advocates the Atkins low-carbohydrate diet.
And then there is exercise.
The Government's Food Pyramid Correlates to Obesity, Critics Say