The USDA started to recommend dietary guidelines as early as 1894. Vitamins and minerals had not been discovered yet. It was not until President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 released the first set of Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). A lot of changes and modifications have been made since the first dietary guideline.
In 1943 it was called the Basic Seven food guide. It had a major share of the RDA's, but only a portion of it contained calories.
The seven food groups were:
Leafy, green, and yellow vegetables
Citrus fruit, tomatoes, raw cabbage
Potatoes and other vegetables & fruit
Milk, cheese, ice cream (Yes it used to be a food group)
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dried peas, beans
Bread, flour cereals
Butter and fortified margarine
Wartime brought a change to the Basic Seven, it included servings per food group.
Ten years later in 1956 a new guideline was released called Basic Four. It recommended a minimum number of foods from each group.
The four food groups were:
Fruit and vegetables
This guideline stayed in used for the next two decades.
In 1977 the guidelines shifted from getting adequate nutrients to not having excessive amount of food linked to chronic diseases.
The Basic Four was altered in 1979 to include one more group -- Fats, sweets and alcoholic beverages.
Dietary Guidelines in 1980 took the USDA and American National Red Cross to make the next one called the Food Wheel. This wheel contained six sections and each had how many servings per day to eat.
The six food groups were:
Eggs, fish, meat, poultry, nuts and seeds
Alcohol, fats, sweets
Cheese, milk yogurt
Bread, cereals, grains
Since 1980 dietary guidelines are by law to be revised every 5 years.
It was not until 1992 that the first pyramid was introduced. The top of the pyramid would be the least amount of consumption and the bottom of the pyramid would be where you would have the most consumption of the food groups. It still contained the six groups.
The six food groups were:
Bread, cereal, rice & pasta group on the bottom
Fruit group and Vegetable group were on the same level.
Milk, yogurt & cheese group and meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs & nuts group were on the same level.
Fat, oils & sweets on the top of the pyramid labeled USE SPARINGLY
A law went into effect in mid 1994 mandating the use of the nutritional facts label.
The pyramid took a slight change in 2005 to add a look and concept of physical activity. It also now had vertical lines instead of horizontal lines for the food groups.
2011 the new guideline came out called My Plate. It is a plate that is separated into four different categories and sizes. Then outside the plate is a circle with milk in it.
The four food groups are:
Vegetables -- being the biggest
Grains -- next biggest
Milk -- is by itself
I went on to see all the information the USDA has on this new guideline. I know why there is so much debate on the My Plate guideline. It does not tell you how big your plate should be. There is no reference on how many calories, overall portion size. There is portion size of each food group in reference to the plate. Looking at this for me would be a guess on how many calories I am consuming. I think the concept is great, but I think they did not go far enough with it.
The simple truth is this. You need to consume fewer calories in a day then the calories your body uses and burns as fuel. Calories Burned > Calories Consumed
The My Plate guideline does not include mention of physical activity. In this research,
I came up other guidelines I am researching. I will let you know what I have discovered.
I'll be talking to you soon.