Food Guide Pyramid Analysis
The Food Guide Pyramid was established by the United States Department
of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human
Services. This is a new approach for managing one's diet which replaces
the older basic four (or five) food groups approach.
The new food groups are organized into the shape of a pyramid.
The fundamental ideas behind the Food Guide Pyramid approach are:
one should eat a variety of foods and more from the lower food groups
than from the upper food groups which translates into "Choose
a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grain products."
Many nutrition programs do a good job in helping users keep track
of their calorie consumption, fat intake, etc. NutriGenie programs
provides an additional important feature: its users can quickly
check to see if their diet conform to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.
Planning your weight loss diet this way is desirable because you
can lose weight and, at the same time, adequately obtain the necessary
nutrients through your balanced diet. You can achieve similar result
using other programs and approaches, however, our graphic pyramid
food analysis makes the process much simpler and enjoyable to use.
Sample screenshots of NutriGenie Food Guide Pyramid analysis:
NutriGenie is in the process of redesigning our graphic Food Pyramid
analysis. The present pyramid graphic analysis will be retained
because it does provide useful information for comparison. Our new
graphic pyramid analysis will be a significant improvement over
the new USDA design. We very much concur with designer Michael Bierut's
critique of the new food pyramid:
The new pyramid has none of the bracing clarity of the old one.
As a seasoned graphic designer, I find myself with the dismaying
ability to look beyond any new design and see the interminable series
of meetings that was its genesis. The brief the Department of Agriculture
gave its consultant, Porter Novelli, must have been daunting.
First, it retained the beloved pyramid form, but eliminated
its implied hierarchy to displace Sweets from its position as King
of All Food. So now we have something that can only be described
as a pie chart made from only one slice of (inverted) pie. The usefully
vague serving unit has been replaced with specific measures
like cups and ounces; this means that relative amounts can no longer
be compared, rendering the barely visible differences between the
various groups meaningless without a key. In the fancier version
of the pyramid, the key is represented by an uneasy combination
of drawings and photographs of food items that appear to be carelessly
piled at the structure's base.
Graphic designers are often asked to reduce complicated ideas
to simple diagrams. Sometimes it's possible, but often it's not.
In this case, what we're left with is something that is well-intentioned
but dysfunctional. The new food pyramid is what a friend of mine
would call a cat's breakfast, except it has vegetables in it. And
everyone knows that not even a cat would eat vegetables for breakfast.
Full article: Design
Observer - Me and My Pyramid
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