Valuable Government Reports for Weight Loss

The U.S. Government produces many pages of documents each year, and taxpayers who have had occasion to read such publications might wonder at their value. However, the Food Guide Pyramid, introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1992, was a major improvement over the Basic Four food groups used from 1956 to 1992. The Food Guide Pyramid was upgraded to the more graphically appealing MyPlate in 2011. Parents who are trying to teach their children to make healthy eating choices are finding these government reports to be quite useful.

Many Americans of a certain age can recall the Basic Four food groups recommended by the USDA from 1956 to 1992. The phrase “Basic Four” was quite common in nutritional education for a generation of school children. The food groups were vegetables and fruits; milk and other dairy products; meat (though this one would have been better named “protein” as it creatively but not exactly accurately included eggs, dry beans and peanut butter); and cereals and breads. The big problem with the Basic Four was that it made no qualitative distinction between the four groups. Many Baby Boomers grew to adulthood thinking that fruits and vegetables were no more useful than meat, grains and cheese, and this is part of the explanation for the epidemic of obesity in the United States today.

Starting in 1992, the USDA began promoting a Food Guide Pyramid that made a qualitative distinction between the different categories. The foundation of the pyramid was the Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta group, and 6 to 11 servings per day were recommended. On the next level were vegetables (3 to 5 servings recommended) and fruits (3 to 4 servings recommended). The next level was essentially the top with milk, yogurt and cheese (3 to 5 servings recommended) and meat and other proteins (2 to 3 servings recommended). There was a point to the pyramid called “Fats, Oils & Sweets” with the advice, “Use sparingly.” If followed, the advice of the Food Guide Pyramid was a significant improvement over preceding USDA advice.

Attempting to lose weight can be challenging and emotional. If you have tried and failed repeatedly, perhaps it is time for you to consider professional help. If you would like to determine whether you are a candidate for bariatric surgery, contact us at Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute, 375 Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, FL. Dr. Velarde has over ten years of experience in bariatric surgery, and he is fluent in both Spanish and English.