Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Michele Simon and Sally Squires on MyPyramid

Informed Eating's Michele Simon lets the new dietary guidance graphic have it in a news wire editorial on Ascribe. She points out that 80 percent of Americans recognize the old graphic, and derisively suggests that this powerful recognition may be exactly what led to its replacement:
To try and fix this problem, Uncle Sam set out to create a new and improved version. In true government fashion, the job was outsourced to the mega-PR firm, Porter Novelli International. While past clients have included the likes of McDonald’s and the Snack Food Association, the company promised there would be no conflict of interest.

So what did U.S. taxpayers get for its $2.5 million? Reactions from nutrition experts to the new graphic that contains no actual information -- just colored sections and a figure walking up stairs -- have been swift and unequivocal: The new "MyPyramid" is certainly no better and may even be worse than the old version. With all of the dietary details now only available via the web site, buried deep among too many pages to click through, who on earth is going to bother to take the time?
One person who took the time is Sally Squires of the Washington Post. The large number of words required to explain how the new federal government site works somewhat corroborates Simon's point. On the other hand, once Squires' explaining is done, I certainly understand the new web utilities better.

No comments: