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JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about going back to the four food groups?

Asked by JLeslie (56922points) April 27th, 2010

I was thinking that the four food groups was easier for everyone to understand and since we have switched to the food pyramid it seems to me that people don’t think about having a veg, starch, and protein on each plate. Well, I guess that is three groups, I am all for leaving dairy out, even though I do eat dairy at times.

I was wondering if children talk about the food pyramid? I don’t have children so I don’t know if it is really being taught or not.

I found this link that does support my idea that obesity has really risen in the last 20 years, and we did away with the four food groups about 20 years ago.

I realize there is probably not one simple answer for the obesity problem, but I do know that when I was a kid I ate cookies baked with enriched flour, margarine (hydrogenated oil) was a mainstay in my house, and I drank all the coca-cola I wanted. But, every night for dinner we had a vegetable, starch, and protein, and portions were smaller then what I think people eat today.

If you think there is a better idea than the four food groups and the food pyramid I would be interested in hearing it.

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21 Answers

cockswain's avatar

I think they should teach The Zone diet to everyone. The Zone refers to regulating insulin levels in your blood within a certain range by avoiding spikes and valleys of blood sugar. I feel great when I do it, but have a difficult time sticking to it b/c I’m busy and it requires a lot of planning. If society as a whole were aware of it, they would desire the diet and the availability of fast foods to support it would flourish.

marinelife's avatar

I think we should force, via legislation if necessary, food manufacturers to make things in a healthy way.

We should outlaw large portions of junk food.

We should control the amount of sodium in manufactured foods.

We should eliminate high fructose corn syrup from all foods.

We should control portions at fast food restaurants.

JLeslie's avatar

@marinelife Wow. Talk about government intervention.

cockswain's avatar

suddenly a little salt regulation doesn’t seem so extreme, does it?

RedPowerLady's avatar

@marinelife Sounds good to me.

I’m thinking that having only ingredients that we can read might help. Or rather yet eating foods that aren’t packaged. That’s it. I think forget the food groups and food pyramid. Let’s teach the Slow Food movement. Have people eat food that does not come in a package. That will help a ton!

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Make organic foods cheaper with less additives and it’ll be easier to move back to the four food groups.

Berserker's avatar

We probably should, since what I’ve seen for American standards when it comes to what they consider being ’‘thin’’ is frighteningly disturbing.

Incidentally I’ve no idea what the hell the food pyramid is. I’m looking it up now. Oil group? What the hell? For me it’s always been breads and grains, veggies and fruit, dairy products then meat. There was always a fifth section for substitutes, (For me personally that includes beer haha.) sometimes that included seafood which I always figured would be found in the meat section, but I guess that proves that French immersion schools are bullshit haha.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

The “4” food groups don’t really work for vegetarians…

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Symbeline The Oil is for the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which we are lacking but are very important.

JLeslie's avatar

I was thinking along the lines of mainstream America. If you are more sophisticated in food choices on your own, you don’t need these guidelines. Vegetarians, zone diet, I think would just go over the heads of the portion of the population the government is really targeting in my opinion. Maybe my expectations are too low. For those who eat french fries and pizza every night, maybe going back to the four food groups would help? Although pizza can be the four food groups if you want to twist things. The four food groups always showed plates of food with a little from each group, so visually I think it worked. The pyramid is not a good visual I think.

Smashley's avatar

I think you were closer to the mark when you talked about portion sizes, rather than the systems we teach children in elementary school. Americans (whom I assume you mean by “we”) have been eating terrible food for years, but never in the quantities of today.

JLeslie's avatar

@Smashley I think so too, I think that is the biggest factor. That and no exercise.

Smashley's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks! Sedentary lifestyles are certainly a complicating factor.

Hmm… 20 years ago? Sounds like about the time we started using computers for everything…

RedPowerLady's avatar

@JLeslie That is why we need to advocate the Slow Food diet. No pyramids or food groups needed. People who are eating pizza every night simply need to start shopping locally and eating at home. It would make a big difference I think

JLeslie's avatar

@RedPowerLady I know what you mean, but many others wouldn’t. On that Jamie Olier show the family is shopping at their local grocer and has frozen pizza taking up half the freezer. The people I am most concerned about have no concept of local growers and cooking from scratch.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think we need 8 groups

unhealthy carbs, healthy carbs, protein, unhealthy fat, healthy fat, fiber-rich food, vitamin-rich food, mineral-rich food

and there is overlap of course.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@JLeslie They don’t really need a concept of it. It is one simple rule. Do not buy anything in a package (save meat). I think anyone can understand that. KWIM?

JLeslie's avatar

@RedPowerLady I KNWM. :). I was just saying on another thread that there seems to be packaged food that is a total nightmare, fatty, salty, checmical preservatives. And, then there are brands like Kashi and Amy’s organic, more expensive, and honestly targeted for the health food, vegetarian type of palate. I think there is a niche that is missed, targeted for the taste buds of the average American, maybe not organic, but at least made reasonably healthy without all of the crap.

philosopher's avatar

@marinelife and @mattbrowne You have got it right.
Unfortunately the government seems to be moving very slowly.
They are finally making an effort to take the antibiotics out of chicken and beef.
According to my local grocer Europe is seven years ahead of the US.
My grocer only sells Bell and Evans chicken he says he does not trust any other manufactures. Bell and Evans sells minimally processed and organic chicken.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@JLeslie Ya I agree they are a happy medium. Can’t argue though that going without packaging altogether is the best choice. Not that in this fast paced society that is easy.

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