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NEWS STORY: Food pyramid, USDA sued by doctors' group that wants vegetarian alternative

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  • Pamela Rice
    NEWS STORY....... ... http://www.latimes.com/health/os-doctors-alternate-food-pyramid-20110106,0,6397356.story Doctors group sues USDA over vegetarian
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2011
      NEWS STORY.......



      Doctors' group sues USDA over vegetarian alternative to food pyramid

      By Linda Shrieves
      Orlando Sentinel

      January 6, 2011

      A nonprofit doctors' organization is suing two
      federal agencies for ignoring a vegetarian
      alternative to the traditional food pyramid -
      despite skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates.

      In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for
      the District of Columbia, the Physicians
      Committee for Responsible Medicine says the U.S.
      Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of
      Health and Human Services violated federal law by
      failing to respond to a PCRM petition offering a
      simple, plant-based alternative - the Power Plate
      - as an alternative to MyPyramid, the USDA's name
      for its food pyramid.

      "We are asking the government to protect the
      average American, not special agribusiness
      interests," said registered dietitian Susan
      Levin, the organization's nutrition education
      director. "MyPyramid is confusing, and it
      recommends meat and dairy products despite
      overwhelming evidence that these foods are
      unnecessary and unhealthy. Research shows the
      Power Plate is a better choice, and it's simple
      enough that a child could follow it."

      To see the Power Plate, click here:

      Since the first USDA food pyramid was introduced
      nearly 20 years ago, obesity and diabetes have
      become commonplace. About 27 percent of young
      adults are now too overweight to qualify for
      military service, and an estimated one in three
      children born in 2000 will develop diabetes.

      The lawsuit charges that the federal government
      should address the worsening epidemics of obesity
      and diet-related diseases by withdrawing the
      MyPyramid diagram and adopt the Power Plate food
      diagram and dietary guidelines.

      The Power Plate graphic is based on current
      nutrition research showing that plant-based foods
      are the most nutrient-dense and help prevent
      chronic diseases. The graphic depicts a plate
      divided into four new food groups: fruits,
      grains, legumes and vegetables. There are no
      portion sizes and food hierarchies to follow; the
      Power Plate instead recommends eating a variety
      of all four of its food groups each day.

      These four food groups provide the good nutrition
      you need. There is no need for animal-derived
      products in the diet, and you're better off
      without them. Be sure to include a reliable
      source of vitamin B12, such as any common
      multiple vitamin or fortified foods.

      Linda Shrieves can be reached at lshrieves@... or 407-420-5433.

      Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel
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