Is the food pyramid a good guide to healthy eating?
Marion Nestle is a consumer activist, nutritionist, and academic who specializes in the politics of food and dietary choice. Nestle received her BA, PhD, and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1988, Nestle was appointed Chair of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. She held that position until 2004, when she became the Paulette Goddard Professor in the same department.
Nestle is the author of numerous books, including "Food Politics," which explored the way corporations influence our nutritional choices, and "What to Eat," an survey of how to navigate the modern American supermarket. Aside from her books and teaching, Nestle writes a popular blog for the Atlantic Food Channel.
Marion Nestle: Well the food pyramid as it stands today doesn’t even have any food on it. You have to have a computer and go online and then try to sort through everything that’s on the web site in order to figure out what it’s advising. And in that sense it’s . . . it took away the new pyramid which came out in 2005; took away the real value of the old one. The old one had flaws, but one of the thing it did . . . one of the things it did very well, I think, was to indicate that it was better to eat some foods than others. Better for health. And the new pyramid doesn’t make that point nearly as clearly. Nutritionists tell me that they can’t use it; that it’s so difficult to teach from, to explain that they don’t use it. I really don’t know anybody who uses it to teach or for any purpose whatsoever.
Nestle doesn't know anyone who uses it as a guide.