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Posted at 1:01 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

New dietary guidelines: Is anyone listening?

By Katie Rogers
food pyramid
You can totally make a better food pyramid.

If you want some dinner party conversation, look no further: The federal dietary guidelines have changed yet again. Every five years, the government has been tasked with revising the guidelines, and it's affected our lives and eating habits for nearly a century whether we realize it or not.

Perhaps the guidelines had their use when we weren't a culture saturated in diet programs, exercise television shows and healthy food aisles at the grocery store. But are they necessary now? The newest report, weighing in at about 100 pages, tells us what we already know: Eat better, eat less and stop putting salt on everything. (The Salt Institute, for the record, objects.)

Is anyone listening?

Rather than letting the guidelines fall on deaf ears, we decided to fess up to what our own food pyramids would look like. What would your pyramid look like?

Break out the brushes and paint us your own pyramid -- you can upload the photos here. Or just tell us what would top the bottom of your pyramid by using #myfoodpyramid on Twitter. We'll post your responses in this blog.

A couple of Microsoft Paint-friendly Posties kept it real, topping pyramids with cake and coffee -- they did not quite get the concept that the top tip of the pyramid means the food you consume least, but it drives the point home that no one is really paying attention. At least, no one in this part of the building.

Will you check out the guidelines and try to follow them? The Checkup wants to know in this poll.

Here's a starter pyramid from Alexandra Petri.


And one from Mark Luckie:


What does your pyramid look like? Some answers:

#myfoodpyramid includes pasta and lots of it.less than a minute ago via web

By Katie Rogers  | February 1, 2011; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Your Take  
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I quit paying attention when the 'pyramid' quit being a pyramid and just became a glorified logo. If the point is to convey nutritional information in a easily comprehensible graphic, they have failed miserably.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The two pyramids you show here prove that the government's pyramid graphic doesn't work. Both Posties think the stuff they consume most is at the top of the pyramid.

(I don't think anyone in the government understands a pie chart or bar graph--a format even young children "get.")

Posted by: NonyMous | February 1, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure they incorporated this study into their guidelines, but I wish they had.
Doughnuts prevent cancer deaths, study shows

Posted by: TarHeelReader | February 1, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Flounder, pasta, meat, vegetables, a well-balanced varied diet.

The food pyramid should vary daily and even seasonally, reflecting the level of ativity we perform. Some days, for example, my body calls for more potassium and dairy/yogurt. Others, choose lamb chops.

Posted by: mars11 | February 1, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

New dietary guidelines? The old ones weren't bad enough?
I cracked the obesity code and listen to this--- We, you and I don't have a clue about food, anti obesity knows-- good luck!

Posted by: hart0007 | February 1, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

If it has more than 10 ingredients on the label, you probably don't want it.

Posted by: docwhocuts | February 1, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

You made coffee the tip of the pyramid instead of the wide, dominating base? Sacrilege!

Posted by: treetopflyer | February 1, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Giving away freebies and free samples is the best way for companies to introduce their products to you. Best place is "123 Get Samples" Best of all, there is no obligation on your part.

Posted by: jackiemichel2 | February 2, 2011 1:14 AM | Report abuse

One of Mubarak's last initiatives before protests began was to redesign the food pyramid.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 2, 2011 3:21 AM | Report abuse

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