Quick: when I say “well-balanced diet,” what comes to mind?
Amidst images of fruits, vegetables, and Cheerios, I imagine another top association is the USDA’s food pyramid. Even though they retired the model in 2011 (replacing it with their current My Plate diagram), the food pyramid still holds a fixed place in our national consciousness when it comes to nutrition and healthy-eating.
While we all know that nutrition is important, many of us have had our fill of nutritional advice. One such person is Laura McKibbin, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with a background in wellness promotion. She’s written, “We are constantly bombarded with information emphasizing healthy eating and exercise as the primary determinants of good health. While these can be important factors for good health, when we focus too much on them, we tend to forget the many other factors that probably have an even more profound effect on health.”
To make this point visually, McKibbon has produced a “Food for Thought” pyramid, challenging us to give a second thought to what really affects and enhances our health.
It’s not USDA-approved, but I love the tongue-in-cheek nature of this pyramid, teasing us for our (often counter-productive) hyper-consciousness about our health while highlighting the fact that some highly significant health factors, like our genetics, are outside of our control. And she’s certainly drawn upon a variety of sources!
What comes to mind when you see McKibbin’s pyramid? If you designed your own health and wellness pyramid, what would the different levels contain?
— Tommy Grimm