Turning the Food Pyramid Upside Down!


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) just released a new set of dietary guidelines. These are released by the USDA and the Department of Human Health Services (HHS) every five years – they are what gave us those famous food pyramids we all studied in grade school.

The old food pyramid has gone through many revisions throughout the years, and its’ a good thing – with 34% of adults and 17% of children currently obese in the US, we could all use a pointer or two on healthy eating habits.  The new guidelines are by far the most extensive to date because they not only focus on what you eat, but also eating behaviors.  Some of the highlights include:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks
  • Keep trans fats consumption as low as possible
  • Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats (butter, margarine, shortening) and added sugars.
  • Limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium
  • Alcohol should be consumed in moderation-up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men

To see the complete guidelines, check out the links below.  As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” Now is the time to start building healthy lifestyle!



Cheryl Czapla, Med IV
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University