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Is the food pyramid illegal? That's what this lawsuit claims

January 07, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health

It's time to shake up the traditional food pyramid and replace it with a vegetarian alternative. That's what a doctors' advocacy group seeks in a lawsuit against two federal agencies that it says are breaking the law by not doing enough to combat obesity and diabetes. 

The nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine proposes a meatless food pyramid that it designed called Power Plate.

Food pyramids are guidelines that help create a balanced, healthy diet. So it's worth comparing these two to see what works for you; maybe you'll wind up with a hybrid. Here's the Department of Agriculture's MyPyramid and the Physicians Committee's Power Plate. Regardless of which you choose, each gives good information on nutrition values, portions, recipes, etc.

It’s also worth noting that the doctors organization is an ardent, very ardent, supporter of animal rights. This L.A. Times story, "Whose side are advocacy groups on?," offers some perspective from media expert Sheldon Rampton. It says:

"The general public should understand that every position from PCRM stems from its commitment to animal rights, Rampton says. The group trumpets research showing that too much red meat can increase the risk of heart disease. But instead of encouraging moderation, the group recommends vegetarian diets. 'It's healthy advice, but health doesn't seem to be their primary intention,' Rampton says."

Depending on what happens, the lawsuit may open the door for discussion of the pyramid -- or slam it shut. Check out this Orlando Sentinel story about the lawsuit.

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