Alcohol in the Diet
The new science-based Harvard Good Eating Pyramid
recommends the moderate consumption of alcohol, except for those
with good reasons not to drink.
The Food Pyramid developed by the US Department of Agriculture
(USDA) is an effort to provide dietary information to the public
in a highly simplified manner. However, the Department of Agriculture
represents the economic interests of the producers of beef, sugar,
poultry, eggs, pork and other agricultural products worth billions
of dollars per year. These producers and their powerful trade groups
exert enormous pressure on the USDA to recommend consumption of
their products in the Food Pyramid.
Surprisingly, the Food Pyramid was not developed by any of the
federal agencies whose purpose is to promote health or any of the
agencies concerned with nutritional or medical issues.
Diet recommendations should be based on objective scientific medical
research rather than the winners of competing economic self-interests.
The USDA serves its masters well, but the public suffers. "At
best, the USDA Pyramid offers wishy-washy, scientifically unfounded
advice on an absolutely vital topic - what to eat. At worst, the
misinformation contributes to overweight, poor health, and unnecessary
early death." 1
Because of these inadequacies, doctors at the Harvard University
School of Public and the Harvard School of Medicine have created
a food pyramid based on scientific research findings rather than
economics or politics.
The Harvard Good Eating Pyramid is based entirely on research
evidence from the world-famous Physicians' Health Study, the Nurses'
Health Study, and the Health Professions Follow-up Study - studies
that carefully examined hundreds of thousands of people for over
20 years - plus numerous other medical surveys and studies involving
many thousands more.
The Harvard Good Eating Pyramid and the scientific evidence supporting
it are found in Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy by Dr. Walter C. Willett
and colleagues at Harvard University.
Dr. Willett is widely considered to be the world's foremost authority
on nutrition and has received many prestigious scientific awards.
He is Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School
of Public Health and is also Professor in the Harvard School of
Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy is published by
Simon & Schuster and is available in virtually any bookstore.
(This web site has no economic interest whatsoever in the sale of
- 1. Willett, Walter C., with
the assistance of others. Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard
Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating. New York: Simon & Schuster,
Readings (Listing does not imply endorsement)
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