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January 5, 2011

Docs sue Feds over food pyramid

The Washington nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is suing the USDA and HHS saying the agencies ignored the organization's proposal of a food guide that it maintains is healthier than the standard food pyramid.

PCRM, which champions animal rights and promotes vegetarianism, filed a lawsuit this morning in U.S. District Court in Washington saying the USDA and HHS violated federal law by not considering the group's alternative to the food pyramid.

(The group has also waged war against the fast food industry by telling Detroit it needed a moratorium on the restaurants.)

The Feds revised the old school carb-heavy food pyramid in 2005 to emphasize whole grains, veggies and physical activity (there’s a reason that stick figure guy is climbing that pyramid). That didn’t stopped some critics who asserted the recommendations are beholden to agribusiness.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine endorses something called Power Plate, a plate divided into four food groups -- vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains -- and urges people to eat a variety of all four each day.  Meat and dairy don’t belong in daily recommendations, the group says.

“We are asking the government to protect the average American, not special agribusiness interests,” said Susan Levin, PCRM'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.”
Posted by Kelly Brewington at 11:37 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Diet and exercise


This is totally ridiculous. What are people who are allergic to soy and nuts supposed to do. You need protein and calcium in your diet, so tell me how many legumes and vegetables have either of these nutrients in them. I for one do not and can not take a lot of pills. Pills even of the smallest nature get stuck in my throat. Drink ensure you say; it causes me to gag and vomit. Stop telling me how and what to eat and I won't tell you how ignorant you are for trying to run someone else 's life.

Please do some research. PCRM is not a doctors group. It is an animal rights group. And is anyone suprised that an animal rights group wants a vegan food pyramid?

Ever see a fat vegan? Yeah,you haven't.
In any event, while i may not support PCRM wholeheartedly, the food pyramid has an inordinate amount of dairy recommend. Two cups of cottage cheese is a serving, and you're supposed to get in at least three a day?
Plain and simple, there is not "one" way of healthy eating, but many that accomplish the same goals. The key is finding one you like and doing it. Sorry, but none of them involve prepackaged junk food.

I'm sick and tired of the animal rights groups (such as this one) wasting TAXPAYER DOLLARS by filing FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS.

I look at the MyPyramid image above and it gives me no clue about what foods I should be eating. What’s the pyramid trying to hide? Probably the high-fat meat and dairy products it recommends. But I clicked on the Power Plate link above and it shows me an image of exactly what to eat: healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.

PCRM is not a Doctors' group, it's an Animal Rights group, related to PETA. Of COURSE they don't want people to eat meat and dairy products, they want us all to go Vegan.
God didn't give us our twelve pointy teeth for grinding grain and grass.
All of their ideas need to be taken with a liberal dose of salt.

Why am I not suprised at the deceptively named PCRM attempting to force changes to USDA's recommendations for a healthy diet?
Yes, "Baltimocker", I have seen fat vegans. fat omnivores too. overstuffing yourself with anything and not getting enough exercise will cause obesity in anyone.
The extremes that some "veg-angelicals" will state about diets inclusive of animal products never ceases to amaze me- no one ever told anyone to eat 6 cups of cottage cheese a day. It's absurb, it's a lie, and you think that if it gets repeated enough, ppl will believe you.
For those who chose to pursue a vegan diet, an ogranic diet, a macrobiotic diet or whatever your current food craze is, whether for personal health reasons or a feeling of moral superiority, go for it. As long as your pocketbook and your stomach can handle it, it's your right. But for you radicals out there who think everyone has to conform to your standards, kindly take your morals off my lifestyle. I don't appreciate fanatics attempting to legislate away my right to eat as I chose- which is healthy for me and my family, and affordable as well. I don't need to take a load of supplements to make up for what would be missing in the power(less) plate scenario, as suggested. I get everything I need from a balanced diet including animal based proteins and fats.
It works for me. It might nt work for you. That is why the pyramid is recommendations, not a mandate, and is based on the needs of the majority of the population. To influence it to appease a fringe minority and impose their prefered standards, which have no basis in science, would be wrong.

Beautifully said Dannielle, couldn't agree more. @Baltimocker - I can't say that I have seen "fat" vegans, but I have seen unhealthy children who were raised on vegan/vegetarian diets. While a vegetarian diet can provide most nutrients in adequate supply for adults, it is irresponsible for most people to try to raise their children on this type of diet. Extreme attention must be paid to everything a child eats to get adequate quality protein, calcium, B vitamins, calcium and other micronutrients. There is no room for unhealthy snacking and I have yet to see young children eat enough legumes to get adequate Lysine on a daily basis. Since we are talking about school nutrition, it is most appropriate to target meals to provide high quality protein including animal proteins and fat for neurologic development.

First - did you know this organization - PCRM - are not all physicians? They are also involved with the AR agenda. They should not have ANY ssay in how the rest of us eat! They are radicals - period! AND - as such - deserve to be shunned. Why are you even giving them attention?

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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