Physician Disagrees with Advisory Panel Recommendations for the Food Pyramid

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Expert Warns Obesity Could Increase if Recommendations are Adopted.

A food pyramid designed without regard to the evolutionary development of metabolism or psychological factors surrounding food choices could make even more Americans obese, according to Dr. Anthony J. Burlay, author of "The Foundation Diet: Your Body Was Designed to Eat".

The guidelines written by the U.S.D.A., the same department responsible for promoting agricultural commodity producers, is used to plan meals for millions of Americans, including those eating school lunches. A federal advisory panel has made its recommendations, and the final dietary guidelines and revised food pyramid will be available early next year.

Dr. Burlay, General and Addictions Psychiatrist, worries the obesity epidemic will actually increase by following the proposals. "Early humans had a very different 'pyramid'," he says, "which consisted of high protein intake and fresh vegetation, and infrequent and seasonal fruits and nuts. The proposals ignore influences on decisions related to food choices - more complex than following a list of recommended foods. Food choices are the result of a combination of body signals, cultural influences, habits, events, emotions, and beliefs."

"People need complete information to make important decisions about their health and food choices - oversimplification and lists are not enough." Dr. Burlay believes that there needs to be a different approach to the public's education to curb America's weight problem. He suggests public education which focuses on how metabolism works, ignoring influences from current fads and political loyalties.

MEDIA: Review copies of "The Foundation Diet: Your Body Was Designed to Eat" are available by contacting Zen-Fusion Publishing

Anthony J. Burlay M.D. attended University of Maryland medical school and completed his Psychiatric Residency at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He is Board Certified in both General and Addictions Psychiatry.

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Candice Pascal