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Eating in the U.S.: Pyramid to Plate

Fundamentally, human needs are simple, “food, water, clothing, and shelter” (Kotler & Keller, p.9). Though food is a part of basic human needs, there are various kinds of food that are not helpful to the overall health of many individuals. While this concept is not foreign to many individuals across the U.S. a significant amount of individuals develop and maintain unhealthy eating habits that often start in childhood and progress throughout adulthood due to a lack of nutrition education (Brooks & Moore, 2016; García-Fernández et al., 2017). To add to the dilemma of unhealthy eating habits, there are instances where marketing negatively influence consumer perception. For example, Frechette (2015) explained how child-targeted food marketing proved impactful on poor food choices and consumption in children and adolescents.

To aid in remedying the phenomenon of unhealthy eating habits, the U.S. government sought to provide dietary guidelines first using the Food Pyramid and later MyPlate. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the Food Pyramid was introduced in 1992 with adaptations made in 2005 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). While the Food Pyramid provided some helpful guidance, there were some faults. Specifically, the Food Pyramid proved to be a bit complex in relation to the North American food preparation and dinning habits (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). Additionally, the Food Pyramid did not demonstrate distinctions between beneficial and non-beneficial fats and carbohydrates. Conversely, MyPlate was announced in 2011 as a replacement for the Food Pyramid (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). MyPlate proves relevant and helpful in assisting individuals navigate proportions and decipher healthy and unhealthy carbohydrates and fats (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). However, there exists criticism related to clarifying sources of protein specific to grain and dairy products.

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