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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:

Please note:

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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