As we inch closer to summer, you may notice an increase in advertisements promising you a Beach Body. Unfortunately, fad diets are nothing new and few are based in nutritional science.
You wanna know what is based in nutritional science? The USDA Food Guides. The first was published in 1916 and the focus up until the 1930 was How to Select Food and Food for Young Children. The goal was to establish household measures based on food groups and “protective foods” which were selected for their nutritional value and ability to prevent malnutrition.
During WWII The USDA published A Guide to Good Eating with the 7 Basic Food Groups. Yes, butter and margarine was its own group. During WWII, companies like Westinghouse funded a publication entitled The Health for Victory Club. It was a cookbook targeted towards women and designed to help them make the most of what was available during wartime rationing.
Dr. Barbara Schneeman is Professor Emerita in the Department of Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. “Dr. Schneeman is recognized for her work on dietary fiber, gastro-intestinal function, development and use of food-based dietary guidelines, and the connection between science and policy development.”
In this episode of Radio Chipstone, Dr. Schneeman tells contributor gianofer fields that while butter and margarine as a food group is giggle worthy, the information wasn’t incorrect. As we learned more about our nutritional needs, the guidelines adapted and made the new information available. Since 1980, new guidelines are published every five years with new information and that’s not a bad thing.
About the Host:
gianofer (JON nah fer) fields is an Art Historian and Material Culture contributor and curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is hosted by the Center for Design and Material Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the Chipstone Foundation; a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.
About the Guest:
Dr. Barbara Schneeman is Professor Emerita in the Department of Nutrition from the University of California, Davis.