Knowing full well that I’m howling in the wind, I just blasted off the following missive to the “Contact Us” email address.
Warning to my size acceptance friends, restriction talk, could be triggering. I also apologize for using the “O” word. Had to consider my audience, and “fat” wouldn’t fly with them.
No Salutation. Email address is Support@cnpp.usda.gov
Thank you for your hard work to date. Here are suggestions for the new plate, which is better than the pyramid, but still inaccurate. I hope you will integrate them into a new improved plate in the future:
1. Refined grains have no place on the plate, they should be off the placemat in a distant place (that may look like an ice cream stand or some such) called “now and then treats.”
2. Replace the “grains” category with “nutritious starches.” Corn, legumes and baked potatoes are better switched out with the whole grains, not with the green leafies, etc.
3. Change the Dairy glass to “Dairy or Alternative” and link to your alternative section.
I’m not an RD, but I am an eight-year radical weight-loss maintainer (27% of my body’s highest established weight), which is probably more rare. I think most RDs would agree with my adjustments to your plate. The milling and baking industry and dairy farmers might have a bone to pick, but you serve the broader citizenry, yes?
Regarding your weight-loss advice: it is outdated and based in the cultural mythology that weight loss is routinely permanent. Empirical science does not support this. You would do more to promote health if you shared that weight maintenance is noble, challenging and rare enough in itself. Most adults over 30 gain 1 to 2 pounds per year. Preventing that would be helpful. People should live joyfully most of the time, eat healthfully most of the time (following the revised plate I’m suggesting), exercise most days, then treasure the body that happens, regardless of its BMI category.
If people want to lose weight, they need to be told bluntly that, for the rest of their lives, they will need to eat less than most people of their sex and most people at their newly established BMI. (In other words, the rules for a weight-reduced person are stricter than the rules for a never-obese person.) They will need to exercise fairly intensely nearly every day for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, they will need to cope with strong impulses to eat, originating from their endocrine systems, in perpetuity. It is not simply balancing energy, and most people cannot do it. (Instead, they yo-yo weight cycle and end up fatter, ultimately, ashamed and unhappy.)
The government’s role, at most, should be to help people maintain their weight where ever it is, regardless of their BMIs. Anything beyond that should be between a person and his or her doctor, based on individual co-morbidities and other medical concerns. The myth of the “healthy lifestyle” leading to permanent, radical weight loss has caused immeasurable pain in our culture. You are in a position to stop it, and I hope you will claim that gift.
Thank you for your attention to this request. I understand how radical it may sound, given our culture, but I trust you will hear the truth in it.
Sometimes, I just gotta howl.