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The food guide pyramid plays an important role in the health education of the majority of people in the United States. It is meant to guide the general healthy public in how to eat healthy to stay healthy. It includes a wide variety of foods to provide a healthy range of nutrients that are needed daily. The food guide pyramid is an excellent way to educate the public on how to eat healthy. The new food guide pyramid also includes exercise. This is a way to universally educate people.
The food guide pyramid is not a way to cure anything or solve any immediate problems; it is guidelines that help people to understand what they should be eating. The food guide pyramid is meant for people without special health circumstances ages 2 and up. It is a way to promote variety in a diet and to help people understand what is good for them. The food guide pyramid includes foods that do not promote chronic diseases. Foods that cause chronic diseases are avoided in the food guide pyramid. As more research is done the food guide pyramid progresses with it.
The dietary guidelines are updated every 5 years; these are what provide all of the information for the food guide pyramid. From the first food guide pyramid, it has improved greatly with the research that has been done. It definitely progresses along with the most up to date information that is available. This is what is best for the public (Carole Davis). The food guide pyramid today is wisely known in the United States and is taught in school as guidelines for healthy eating, and healthy lifestyle. The first guidelines for a healthy diet were published in the USDA's Framers Bulletin in 1894.
W.O. Atwater was the primary researcher in this subject and had written these guidelines. The first guidelines suggested that the diets for American males consisted of protein, carbohydrate, fats, and "mineral matter". Atwater also talked of overeating being evil. (Davis and Saltos, 1999). This is interesting because today, this is what professionals say should be avoided. The first food guide for children "Food for Young Children" came out in 1916 from the USDA.
This guide included five food groups, milk and meat, cereals, vegetables, and fruits, fats and fatty foods, and sugars and sugary food. (Davis and Saltos, 1999) Then there was a guide published in 1917 for the general public instead of just for young children using the same basis as the guide published in 1916. This guide was modified in 1923 to accommodate families with more or less people in them. The first Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA's) were developed in 1941. These made recommendations of specific intakes for calories, Vitamins A and D, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and ascorbic acid. Nutrition education for the public was also and important subject that was brought up.
(Davis and Saltos, 1999) In 1943 the Basic Seven food guide was published in the USDA, and was revised in 1946. This talked about a diet that would accommodate the basic RDA's but did not have enough calories. (Davis and Saltos, 1999) In 1956 there was more research being done on foods and their relation to chronic diseases. Fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium were especially looked at. In 1977 the "Dietary Goals for the United States" focused on avoiding the nutrients that were found to cause these chronic diseases. (Davis and Saltos, 1999) These diseases which will include the raises cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol levels, in turn, are associated with a high risk of coronary heat disease (heart attack and other ailments caused by the blockage of the arteries to the heart).
In 1979 there were publications out on what fats, sugars, and sodium can do in relation to chronic diseases. This changed the food groups to the "basic four" plus a fifth group that includes fats, sweets, and alcoholic beverages, which says they should be eaten in moderation. "The first edition of the Dietary Guidelines by the USDA focused on the total diet rather then than the foundation diet, this emphasized how to make food selections to meet both nutrient objectives and to moderate intake of those components related to risk of chronic diseases. (Davis and Saltos, 1999, p37) The first edition of these guidelines came out in 1980. The Dietary Guidelines focused on the five major food groups. They are: the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group; the vegetable group' the fruit group; the milk, yogurt, and the cheese group; and the meat.
Poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts group, and recommends sparing use of a sixth food group-fats, oils, and sweets. (Davis and Saltos, 1999, p37) This is very close to what has been used since then. In 1988 the groups were formed into a picture that could show what they were trying to say. A pyramid was chose with the smallest amount of foods in a group at the top of the pyramid and the largest group at the bottom of the pyramid. The second editions of the dietary guidelines came out in 1985, the third in 1990, and the fourth in 1995. After 1995 there was a mandate that required that a new edition came out every 5 years. The guidelines have not changed drastically over the years.
(Davis and Saltos, 1999) Furthermore, scientists had found little evidence that a high intake of carbohydrates is beneficial, since 1992 more and more research has shown that the USDA pyramid is grossly flawed. By promoting the consumption of all complex carbohydrates and eschewing all fats and oils, the pyramid provides misleading guidance. In short, not all fats are bad for you, and by no means are all complex carbohydrates good for you. The USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion is now reassessing the pyramid. In the meantime, the USDA's center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion) have drawn up a new pyramid that better reflects the current understanding of the relation between diet and health. Studies indicated that adherence to the recommendations in the revised pyramid can significantly reduce the risk of health problems.
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